Propsult reality

Can Real Estate Agents Enter Property Without Permission?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Table of Contents

Renting properties is a common practice in Nigeria and understanding the rights of tenants is crucial in ensuring fair and safe housing for all individuals. By being knowledgeable about and asserting these rights, tenants can protect themselves from exploitation and cultivate a harmonious rapport with their estate agent or landlords. Likewise, estate agents or landlords have a responsibility to fulfill their obligations in maintaining the property and respecting the rights of their tenants.

But, can real estate agents enter property without permission? In most cases, a real estate agent cannot legally enter your home without your permission if you are not present. However, there are exceptions. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Real estate agents cannot enter your property without your permission. This applies to both tenanted and owner-occupied properties.
  • Nigerian law grants tenants and homeowners the right to live peacefully in their properties. Unannounced visits from agents disrupt this right.
  • Agents must schedule viewings in advance and obtain your clear consent to enter. You have the right to choose a convenient time and be present during viewings if you wish.
  • The only exception is in emergency situations. If there’s a suspected gas leak, fire, or major water damage, the agent may need access to prevent further harm.
Subscription Form
Subscribe for exclusive insight into Lagos real estate and Investment opportunities
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Respecting Property Rights and Privacy

Real estate agents serve as intermediaries between buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants, facilitating transactions and providing valuable guidance throughout the process.

Central to the relationship between real estate agents and property owners is the fundamental principle of property rights and privacy. Property owners maintain the right to control access to their properties, safeguarding their privacy and ensuring the security of their premises.

In the context of real estate transactions, respecting property rights entails obtaining explicit permission from property owners before entering their premises. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences and tarnish the professional reputation of real estate agents.

Legal Framework and Permissions

Real estate agents operate within a legal framework that governs their interactions with property owners and tenants. Understanding the rights and responsibilities outlined within these regulations is essential for upholding professional standards and respecting property rights.

Overview of Laws Regarding Property Access

Various laws and regulations address property access rights and privacy concerns. These laws may include state statutes, local ordinances, and contractual agreements between property owners and tenants. Common legal principles governing property access include:

  • Right to Privacy: Property owners and tenants have a legal right to privacy within their premises, shielding them from unwarranted intrusion and unauthorized access.
  • Implied Consent: In certain circumstances, property owners may imply consent for real estate agents to enter their properties, such as during scheduled showings, inspections, or maintenance activities.
  • Trespass Laws: Trespassing onto private property without permission is prohibited by law and may result in civil liabilities or criminal charges.

Rights and Responsibilities of Property Owners

Property owners wield significant authority over their properties, including the right to control access and determine who may enter their premises. They may grant permission for real estate agents to conduct showings, inspections, or other authorized activities, but this consent must be obtained explicitly and in accordance with legal requirements.

Consent Requirements for Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents must adhere to strict guidelines regarding property access and obtain explicit consent from property owners before entering their premises. This consent may be obtained verbally, in writing, or through contractual agreements, depending on the specific circumstances and local regulations.

Circumstances Allowing Entry

Real estate agents may enter properties under certain circumstances, provided that they adhere to legal requirements and obtain proper authorization from property owners or authorized representatives. 

Understanding the contexts in which entry may be permitted is essential for real estate agents to conduct their duties effectively and ethically.

Scheduled Showings: Property owners may grant permission for real estate agents to conduct scheduled showings for potential buyers or tenants. These showings are typically arranged in advance and coordinated with the property owner’s consent.

Inspections and Appraisals: Real estate agents may enter properties to facilitate inspections, appraisals, or assessments required as part of the sales process. These activities are essential for evaluating the condition of the property and determining its market value.

Maintenance and Repairs: In cases where property maintenance or repairs are necessary, real estate agents may enter properties to oversee or facilitate these activities. This may include coordinating with contractors, landscapers, or service providers to address maintenance issues.

Emergencies and Safety Concerns

Real estate agents may also enter properties in emergencies or when safety concerns arise. Examples of circumstances that may warrant entry without explicit permission include:

Security Concerns: Suspected security breaches or threats to the safety of the property may justify immediate entry by real estate agents to assess the situation and take appropriate action.

Emergency Repairs: Urgent repairs or maintenance issues that pose a risk to the property or occupants may require immediate attention, prompting real estate agents to enter the premises to address the situation.

Tenant Agreements and Lease Provisions

In rental properties, tenant agreements and lease provisions may dictate the circumstances under which real estate agents can enter the premises. Tenants have rights to privacy and quiet enjoyment of their rented space, and real estate agents must adhere to lease provisions and state laws governing tenant-landlord relationships.

Consequences of Unauthorized Entry

Unauthorized entry into properties can have serious legal and professional ramifications for real estate agents, potentially jeopardizing their reputation, credibility, and legal standing. Understanding the consequences of unauthorized entry is essential for real estate agents to uphold ethical standards and maintain trust with clients and industry stakeholders.

Legal Ramifications for Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents who enter properties without proper authorization may face legal consequences, including:

  • Civil Liability: Property owners or tenants may pursue civil litigation against real estate agents for trespassing or invasion of privacy, seeking damages for any harm or inconvenience caused by the unauthorized entry.
  • Regulatory Sanctions: Regulatory authorities, such as real estate licensing boards or professional associations, may impose disciplinary actions against real estate agents found to have engaged in unethical or illegal conduct, including unauthorized property entry.
  • Criminal Charges: In severe cases, unauthorized entry onto private property may constitute a criminal offense, potentially resulting in criminal charges and penalties under applicable trespassing laws.

Impact on Professional Reputation and Credibility

The unauthorized entry reflects poorly on the professional reputation and credibility of real estate agents, undermining trust and confidence among clients, colleagues, and industry peers. 

Real estate agents who engage in unethical or unprofessional behavior risk tarnishing their reputation and damaging relationships with clients and stakeholders.

Potential Consequences for Property Owners

Unauthorized entry can also have repercussions for property owners, disrupting their sense of security and privacy and eroding trust in the real estate process. Property owners may feel violated or uncomfortable knowing that unauthorized individuals have accessed their premises without consent, leading to strained relationships with real estate agents and potential repercussions for future transactions.

Best Practices for Real Estate Agents

Navigating property access requires real estate agents to uphold ethical standards, respect property rights, and maintain professionalism in their interactions with property owners and tenants. Adhering to best practices ensures compliance with legal requirements and fosters positive relationships with clients and stakeholders.

Obtaining Explicit Permission Before Entering

Real estate agents should always obtain explicit permission from property owners or authorized representatives before entering properties. 

This permission may be obtained verbally, in writing, or through contractual agreements, depending on the circumstances and legal requirements. Clear communication and transparency are essential to ensure that property owners are informed and comfortable with the entry arrangements.

Communicating Clearly with Property Owners

Effective communication is key to establishing trust and maintaining positive relationships with property owners. Real estate agents should communicate openly and transparently about the purpose and timing of property access, addressing any concerns or questions raised by property owners. 

Providing advance notice and respecting the preferences of property owners contribute to a collaborative and respectful working relationship.

Respecting Privacy and Property Rights

Respecting the privacy and property rights of owners and tenants is paramount for real estate agents. 

Agents should refrain from entering properties without proper authorization and should avoid actions that may infringe upon the privacy or security of occupants. Adhering to ethical standards and legal requirements demonstrates professionalism and integrity in the real estate profession.

Handling Disputes and Complaints

Disputes and complaints regarding property access can arise unexpectedly, testing the professionalism and integrity of real estate agents. Effectively addressing these challenges requires a proactive approach, clear communication, and a commitment to resolving conflicts fairly and equitably.

Addressing Conflicts with Property Owners

In the event of disputes or disagreements regarding property access, real estate agents should approach the situation with empathy, patience, and professionalism. Listen attentively to the concerns raised by property owners and strive to understand their perspective. Seek common ground and explore mutually acceptable solutions that prioritize the interests and rights of all parties involved.

Escalating Concerns to Regulatory Authorities

If disputes cannot be resolved amicably between the parties, real estate agents may need to escalate the matter to regulatory authorities or professional associations for assistance and intervention. Reporting concerns to relevant governing bodies ensures that grievances are addressed impartially and by established protocols and regulations.

Resolving Disputes Professionally and Ethically

Resolving disputes professionally and ethically is essential for maintaining trust and credibility within the real estate industry. Real estate agents should demonstrate integrity, honesty, and accountability throughout the resolution process, prioritizing fair and equitable outcomes that uphold the principles of justice and respect.

By adopting a proactive and principled approach to handling disputes and complaints, real estate agents can navigate challenging situations with confidence and integrity, safeguarding their professional reputation and fostering positive relationships with clients and stakeholders.


Property access is a fundamental aspect of the profession, facilitating transactions and enabling meaningful interactions between agents, owners, and tenants. Real estate agents must navigate a myriad of legal requirements, regulatory considerations, and ethical obligations to ensure that property access is conducted with integrity and transparency. 

Obtaining explicit permission before entering properties, communicating effectively with property owners, and respecting privacy and property rights are foundational principles that guide ethical conduct in the industry. The rights of the occupant should be respected and not violated.


Is it legal for real estate agents to enter a property without permission in Nigeria?

No, it is not legal for real estate agents to enter a property without permission in Nigeria. Real estate agents are required to obtain consent from the property owner or occupant before entering the premises for any reason, including property showings, inspections, or maintenance activities. Failure to obtain permission before entering a property can constitute trespassing, which is a violation of the property owner’s rights and can lead to legal consequences.

What should I do if a real estate agent enters my property without permission in Nigeria?

If a real estate agent enters your property without permission in Nigeria, you have the right to ask them to leave immediately. Politely but firmly communicate to the agent that they are trespassing and that they must exit the premises. If the agent refuses to leave or if you believe your property rights have been violated, you may consider contacting the real estate agency the agent represents or seeking legal advice to address the issue formally.

Can real estate agents enter a property if it is listed for sale or rent in Nigeria?

Even if a property is listed for sale or rent, real estate agents must still obtain permission from the property owner or occupant before entering the premises. Listing a property for sale or rent does not grant real estate agents unrestricted access to the property without consent. Property owners have the right to control who enters their property and can set specific conditions for access, including requiring advance notice or scheduling appointments for property viewings.

Get Expert Advice on Lagos Property Market

Are you an Home-buyer, New or experienced investor? Get your tailored success strategy with a FREE consulation! Book now and unlock your potential!


Get all of our latest real estate tips delivered straight to your inbox.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Open chat
Hi there 👋
How can we help you?