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  1. #1
    Jeffrey Fanger's Avatar
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    Default Landlord inspection consent

    Just curious, does anyone have some input on Landlord consent to inspect their property. Problem at hand is, the renter has "slugs", yes, slugs! under the tiling in her kitchen. The renter is concerned there is Mold. The renter called me and explained that the Landlord does not want an inspector to inspect her property. My guess is an extremely wet crawlspace. Never the less I smell a ton of problems, hence, that would be why the Landlord does not want me there. Question is, has anyone had this problem with Landlords? Thanks Guys!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Fanger View Post
    Just curious, does anyone have some input on Landlord consent to inspect their property. Problem at hand is, the renter has "slugs", yes, slugs! under the tiling in her kitchen. The renter is concerned there is Mold. The renter called me and explained that the Landlord does not want an inspector to inspect her property. My guess is an extremely wet crawlspace. Never the less I smell a ton of problems, hence, that would be why the Landlord does not want me there. Question is, has anyone had this problem with Landlords? Thanks Guys!
    If this is a multi family, the owner can restrict access to some areas.
    If single family, access to the crawl space should not be a problem.

    Personally, move on to greener pastures.
    Renters barely have money for rent, you may not get any.
    Better to have the tenant to call city inspections.
    They have resources to handle situations like this.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    It's their property, they can deny access to anyone they chose.

    Check with the City/County/State Housing Authority in your area. There may be allowable instances under local laws.

    FYI:
    Tenant inspections come with tons of excess baggage, so be prepared.


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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    It's their property, they can deny access to anyone they chose.
    Dom
    That is just not accurate information.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    If the renter can pay my fee I will inspect their apartment. I will be their guest so no need to get an OK from anyone for me to visit their rented home. It is really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, do your job and get paid.

    Report what you see and move on. Make it clear that you will not be involved with discussion with the owner or any attorney, unless you are paid for expert services..

    If this is something you do not want to get involved in then refer them to another inspector in your area. Our ASHI chapter members are always referring business to each other for various reasons.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    The tenant has the right to allow anyone they choose into their unit and the common areas which give direct access to their unit.

    The owner has the right to not allow you to the other common areas to a limited extent.

    Being as the tenant is paying rent, has a lease (whether paying the rent or not), or is otherwise has legal occupancy to their unit, the landlord comes in second fiddle. The tenant does not need to give the landlord notice - the tenant has a legal right to be there and you are their guest.

    The landlord could override the tenant if the tenant did not want you in the unit and the landlord wants you in there - but the landlord, unlike the tenant in the above, needs to give the tenant notice that they are providing you access.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Jeffrey Fanger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Thanks everyone for your input. I broke the Cardinal rule, I'm taking this one a little personal. The renter is a mother of young children and her husband is deployed over seas. I'm a Vet, been there, done that. I have also been a Landlord, not a slumlord. I'm going in and documenting what I see, that's what we do. I've instructed her to contact the housing authority in her area and take the political route and see what comes of it. I'm documenting for future use if the Landlord decides to play hardball. Maybe I'm over stepping my boundary here, but one thing I can't tolerate are Slumlords that don't have a problem collecting their due rent, but do not maintain the property they rent. Thanks again and have a great day!


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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Fanger View Post
    Thanks everyone for your input. I broke the Cardinal rule, I'm taking this one a little personal. The renter is a mother of young children and her husband is deployed over seas. I'm a Vet, been there, done that. I have also been a Landlord, not a slumlord. I'm going in and documenting what I see, that's what we do. I've instructed her to contact the housing authority in her area and take the political route and see what comes of it. I'm documenting for future use if the Landlord decides to play hardball. Maybe I'm over stepping my boundary here, but one thing I can't tolerate are Slumlords that don't have a problem collecting their due rent, but do not maintain the property they rent. Thanks again and have a great day!
    First, as a former municipal rental housing inspector, I'll confirm that you have every right to be there, do an inspection of areas the tenant has access to, and prepare a report that may or may not do her any good.

    I'll also confirm that you should not do this is you want to make a profit.

    And I'll also, finally, commend you for taking a position in support of a family with someone deployed. I have been in a position to do the same, in various capacities, over the years, and feel it is the least I can do. Be very careful in your reporting - don't do anything that you can't support - but hold the landlord's feet to the fire. I have experience dealing with slumlords and offer any help I can in helping your 'adopted' family. Tell us what you find and I'm sure we can help you make a solid case for them.

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Thanks Mark, I'll update and post some Pics soon.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Jeffery,
    If the crawl space is not secured (locked or blocked) you might be able to say that the tenant has access to it and therefore so do you as their guest.

    Of course the landlord may obtain a restraining order against you but that would be after the fact and you would have pictures and samples in your possession.

    A lease can restrict who, what, when and where for anything legal. A lease could be written so that only the tenant has access to the property leased and absolutely no one else. Its all about the contract.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Crawlspace wasn't as bad as I thought. No standing water, but very moist. ALL the the duct work, including the return air, was covered in condensation. Ventilation was poor, approx 75% blockage. Perimeter drain to sump was disconnected, allowing storm water to bypass the sump. Also found a sample slug that the tenant was referring to, his name is now Bob!! Landlords somehow got wind I was there and called me directly. Surprisingly, he was very nice to me, his wife on the other hand had attitude (from the background). Pics attached...

    Last edited by Jeffrey Fanger; 08-23-2012 at 06:35 PM. Reason: pics did not post

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Fanger View Post
    Crawlspace wasn't as bad as I thought. No standing water, but very moist. ALL the the duct work, including the return air, was covered in condensation. Ventilation was poor, approx 75% blockage. Perimeter drain to sump was disconnected, allowing storm water to bypass the sump. Also found a sample slug that the tenant was referring to, his name is now Bob!! Landlords somehow got wind I was there and called me directly. Surprisingly, he was very nice to me, his wife on the other hand had attitude (from the background). Pics attached...
    .
    Photo upload How to see left side banner and hover over Message Board, choose How to post a message, scroll down to # 5.
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    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  13. #13
    Jeffrey Fanger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Sorry, lets try this again. Pics are attached. If they don't come through this time, I give up....

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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Good deal. So the landlord is now aware of the situation. Verbal-only would be best for you since you probably aren't getting paid (enough) and don't want to wade in any deeper than you have to. Check back with the family to see if he gets it done but don't be surprised if the crawlspace access suddenly gets a padlock.

    There probably really needs to be a full inspection of what's going on down there. If you're still cordial with the LL, maybe he'll want to hire you to do it

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  15. #15

    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Good morning, Jeffrey

    I’m throwing my hat in with Scott P and Jerry P. A ton of my work starts off in an adversarial position between landlord and tenant – and after 25 years, it’s a 50/50 ratio.

    If a tenant hires me to perform an assessment, I will do it even if I receive an “order” from the landlord not to do it AND vice versa. I once did a radiological assessment of a privately run cancer center in an hospital. The landlord (the hospital) ordered the assessment and the tenant (a particularly obnoxious physician who honestly thought she was God), attempted to refuse me entry. In the end, the landlord contacted two of the State’s regulatory boards, who issued an emergency order to permit the inspection.

    In a less exciting, and more recent case, I did a gratis mould/moisture inspection in a multi-family low income immigrant tenancy. Prior to the visit, the landlord contacted me and threatened to sue me if I entered “his” property. I not only completed the assessment in the subject apartment, I also knocked on the doors of the adjoining apartments and gained access to those apartments to complete my assessment. However, I did NOT go into the crawlspace, since the landlord exclusively had lawful control of access to that space, and none of the tenants had lawful authority to grant access to the crawlspace.

    The landlord then demanded a copy of my report – which I refused. The whole thing ultimately went to court, and the slumlord… errr…. sorry… landlord, resoundingly lost every argument and was ultimately forced to bring the property up livable standards.

    Now, my State is Colorado, and so my comments are valid for Colorado.

    When I’m wearing my hat as an “agent of the State” then constitutional Fourth Amendment issues come to rise, and before I go into a property to search it, the rule change completely.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG

    Last edited by Caoimhín P. Connell; 08-24-2012 at 10:06 AM. Reason: cuz i kant spel

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Kinda why I suggested the informal (no report) approach - doubt if the crawlspace would be considered 'tenant accessible space'. Document for future use (as indicated in the OP). Court is the last place I want to be on a free/'community service' type inspection

    It's 'mold' in this country by the way

    Sláinte

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post

    It's 'mold' in this country by the way

    Sláinte
    .
    Mark,

    Caoimhin is a Forensic Industrial Hygienist has published work and not someone I would wish to see on the Plaintiffs Witness List. (click his link)

    In his Arena that is the correct spelling.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Ah. I was going by the Gaelic spelling of his name and figured it was a British/Irish/Canadian spelling thing. Just ragging on it a bit and threw in the Gaelic "Sláinte" for fun. My mother was born in Scotland and her family came from Ireland, so I have a lot of family 'over there'. We frequently discuss who has an accent and who isn't even speaking English (mostly the Scots!!)

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  19. #19

    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    We frequently discuss who has an accent and who isn't even speaking English (mostly the Scots!!)
    Reminds me of the Canadian visiting Scotland who saw “brodie” on the lunch menu at a café and asked the waiter what it meant The waiter casually answered, in plain simple English:

    “It’s juist a big roond slap o' dough wi' the tap hauf spread wi' steak cut sma' an' chappit ingins. Syne the boddom hauf's luftit an' laid ower the tap an' scolpit ee aidge. Nick oot twa holes ee tap, fauld, an' there y'are - a brodie.”

    Aye... an there y'are an' a'.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Landlord inspection consent

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    Reminds me of the Canadian visiting Scotland who saw “brodie” on the lunch menu at a café and asked the waiter what it meant The waiter casually answered, in plain simple English:

    “It’s juist a big roond slap o' dough wi' the tap hauf spread wi' steak cut sma' an' chappit ingins. Syne the boddom hauf's luftit an' laid ower the tap an' scolpit ee aidge. Nick oot twa holes ee tap, fauld, an' there y'are - a brodie.”

    Aye... an there y'are an' a'.
    Now imagine that at full speed with no subtitles!

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

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