Hello FORT friends, I need your advice.
My family has a rental house, and lately we have had a little trouble with our tenants (2 adults - 1 man, 1 woman). They pay on time, so that is not the issue.
Some time ago (at least 6 weeks ago), the man called my mother to complain about a problem with an electrical outlet. We have a handyman whom we have used for a long time who is very honest and trustworthy. He has performed repairs at the home before and the tenants have met him. Upon hearing about the problem, we told them to call our handyman and arrange a time when he could come take care of the problem. The tenant put off calling the handyman until we questioned him about it. They then played phone-tag with the tenant refusing to return our handyman's calls. At one point, they made an appointment and when our handyman arrived there was no one home. He took the opportunity to look around the outside of the house and noticed that there was some damage to the roof because the tenants had failed to clean the gutters, as is their responsibility according to the lease. He felt as though there was probably water in the house/walls and this may be contributing to the electrical problem (and God knows what other problems this has caused).
When pressed, the tenants tried to blow it off, like the electrical problem was just a non-functioning outlet, and posed no danger to the house. Long story short - they can't commit to an appointment and/or don't want anyone to come in the house. They have always been very adamant that we not show up there and we have been respectable of their privacy, probably to a fault. At this point, we have issued an ultimatum - either they arrange an appt with our handyman by tomorrow, or I will come over with him and enter the house to have the repairs made. They reacted strongly to this, saying they would not allow it, and hastily made an appt with him for tomorrow. We'll see if they are home when he shows up.
My question is - I feel that it is my right as a landlord to enter the property, and that they have been given adequate notice. But do I need to give them some sort of notice in writing? I've sent an email. Do I need to send something by registered mail, and if so, what if they aren't home or refuse to sign for it? Does anyone have any experience with this?
I appreciate any and all suggestions! Thanks.