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Abuse of Entry

Creating an industry standard?

What does the law say?

5321.04 Landlord obligations.

(A) A landlord who is a party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following:

(7) Not abuse the right of access conferred by division (B) of section 5321.05 of the Revised Code;

(8) Except in the case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, give the tenant reasonable notice of his intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times. Twenty-four hours is presumed to be a reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary.


(B) If the landlord makes an entry in violation of division (A)(8) of this section, makes a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner, or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful that have the effect of harassing the tenant, the tenant may recover actual damages resulting from the entry or demands, obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, and obtain a judgment for reasonable attorney’s fees, or may terminate the rental agreement.


5321.05 Tenant obligations.

(B) The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent for the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make ordinary, necessary, or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, deliver parcels that are too large for the tenant’s mail facilities, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors.

 Remember:  just like tenants are responsible for the behavior of their household members and guests, owners and agents are responsible for the entry of staff members and contractors.

 What's the problem?  What are your ideas for best practices?  send your experiences and ideas to

Here's our recommendations (so far)
1.  provide a real 24 hour notice: 
24 hours means 24 hours
  • not 5 pm Tuesday to 9 AM wed AM;
  • not 'sometime between Tuesday and Friday"

Put it in writing (the law does not require this, but it's just a good business practice.  Texts, voice messages and stopping someone in the hallway are not suitable notices when they come from a tenant.)

Post at the door or slide under the door  (the law does not require this, but it's just a good business practice.)

2.  no knock and enter:  The policy of knock and enter catches tenants unprepared for visitors.  Knock and wait is the correct method.

3.  control access to keys:  Only one management staff person should have access to keys.  You can create an emergency system for those (rare) times when there's a fire, running water, medical emergency.  (just like managers don't want to make a lot of duplicate keys, tenants don't want owners to pass around access to the tenant's home to anyone who comes to the property.)

4.  no unescorted entry by contractors:  contractors must be accompanied by a management staff person when entering unoccupied units.

5.  prohibit intrusive inspection.  Landlords have a legitimate right to inspect the floor, walls, ceiling, HVAC unit, appliances (that are supplied by management) and plumbing fixtures. 

  • DO NOT INSPECT TENANT BELONGINGS! Drawers, contents of the refrigerator or closet are NOT YOUR PROPERTY.
  • DO NOT COMMENT ON TENANTS BELONGINGS!  What tenants own (food in the fridge, numbers of pairs of shoes in the closet) are none of your business.  If they are incidentally observed, keep it to yourself.

Notes & Links

Death entry

Emergency Alarm Systems

Wellness checks

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