Landlords have the legal responsibility to make sure their properties are in proper working order for their tenants.

As part of this responsibility, landlords should periodically inspect their properties to assess the conditions and determine if any maintenance issues need to be addressed.

During the inspection, the landlord can also determine if the tenant is in violation of any of their responsibilities detailed in the rental agreement. Before entering an occupied residence, a landlord must first give written notice of his intent to inspect the property.

As a general rule, landlords should give, at a minimum, a 24-hour notice to the tenant for non-emergency inspections. Inspections for emergencies such as major water leaks and furnace failures, no notice is necessary.

Title the form "Notice of Inspection," or something similar.

Address the letter to the specific tenant whose dwelling you're going to inspect. Make sure to include the tenant's name along with the physical address of the location.

Add a statement saying you're going to be inspecting the property, give the specific date and time, and also give the general reason for the inspection. Some reasons include maintenance, routine inspection and inspection of a particular appliance such as a furnace or water heater. If you're bringing anyone else into the residence, you should also indicate that in the letter. For example, if you're entering the residence for an electrical inspection, indicate that you will be bringing an electrician with you.

State whether you require the tenant to be present or if you plan on entering with or without their presence. If you're not requiring the presence of the tenant during the inspection, you should indicate in the letter that if the tenant changed the locks, they will need to provide you with a copy of the key before the inspection, or you will hire a locksmith to open the door at the tenant's expense.

Inform the tenant they can change the inspection date and time. The tenant has to legally allow you access to the property with proper notice, but if the tenant is reasonable, it's a nice gesture to work around their schedule. If rescheduling is possible, provide a contact method for the tenant to do so.