Skip to Content

Should You Call the Authorities on Your Troublesome Tenants?

College Station Police Officers with Cruisers Outside a Residential HomeFor single-family rental home investors in College Station, meticulously screening your tenants is one of the best ways to mitigate future problems. However simple as that may sound, the reality is that even though you feel like you did your best, there’s still a chance that you will encounter a problem tenant or two. In the event that things between you and your tenant do go irredeemably wrong, you may wonder whether it is appropriate to call the police on your tenant. Before you pick up the phone, however, you should understand some of the key differences between standard laws and landlord/tenant laws.

In most states, tenants have certain protections granted to them by law. This implies that if you violate a tenant’s rights, even though you feel like you are in the right in doing so, you could end up being the one in trouble with the law instead of your tenant. For instance, you may think that a tenant who overstays their lease is legally trespassing on your property and can be removed by the police. Believe it or not, this is not the case.

Once you’ve rented a property to a tenant, the police have no authority to remove them from the property. This is because you have given up certain rights to the property while it is occupied by the tenant. This is true even if their lease has expired and you have requested that they vacate the property. In such situations, regular trespassing laws do not apply. In order to force the tenant to vacate the property, you will need to legally evict them by obtaining a court order.

One other key difference between standard laws and landlord/tenants laws has something to do with how and when you can enter a leased property, or give permission for others to do the same. In most states, landlord/tenant laws require property owners to give advance notice prior to entering an occupied rental home. Unplanned and unannounced visits are typically illegal, no matter the reason. This same rule applies to police officers and others who may want access to the home.

Under standard laws, the property owner is the one who has the authority to grant access to the property. However, tenant/landlord laws give this right to the tenant. Under most conditions, landlords do not have the authority to invite the police or anyone else into the property without the tenant’s permission. The one exception to this rule is in an emergency situation; police or emergency personnel may legally enter the rental house if someone inside is in dire need of assistance.

Despite these protections, however, there may be times when calling the police on your tenant is necessary. For example, if you encounter a situation that you feel is putting anyone in danger, it may be time to call the police. As a property owner, most conflicts can be resolved in a efficient and respectful way. But if you ever feel that your personal safety or that of your tenant, a neighbor, or someone else is under threat, contact the proper authorities.

The same thing is true if you find out that your tenant is involved in criminal activity. Landlord/tenant laws do not protect tenants from being held accountable for their illegal activities. If you have reason to believe that the tenant is caught up in an activity such as illegal drug use or distribution, or any other clear violations of both your lease and the law, it is time to contact the authorities and tell them what you know. They can then help you secure the property in accordance with local laws. Keep in mind that criminal charges, if any, are separate from the legal process of eviction. Even if your tenant is arrested or sent to jail, you will still need to go through the full Texas eviction process to regain control of your rental property. Being arrested does not change your tenant’s rights to occupy the property under landlord/tenant law.

Even though no property owner wants a rental situation to end up this way, it is good to be informed and prepared just in case. Tenant relations can be a challenge and are always one of the most time-consuming parts of a landlord’s job. But help is available.

Real Property Management Talent can help property owners with all aspects of tenant relations. Our Temple property management professionals will work with your tenants, handling any unfortunate incidents that may arise. This will save you time and, as they say, time is money. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 254-401-0400
for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details