Explanation of Tenant Rights for Showing a Property

Property owners have the right to sell their property.

Tenants have a right to peacefully enjoy a rental unit for which they are paying.

How is the right to show a property for sale balanced with the tenant's right to have privacy?

Here is an explanation of tenant's rights for showing property in general terms – there may be some specific exceptions in certain jurisdictions.

1. There Must Not Be An Unreasonable Impact On The Tenant.

The lifestyle of a tenant is an important consideration.

If a tenant works from home, has small children, and has a couple of pets, then property owners must take reasonable efforts to not negatively impact their routines.

A best practice in this area is to discuss what times would work best for the tenant and then to work around that.

Showing a home at nap time or while someone is on a work Skype call could become problematic.

2. There Must Be An Ability To Enjoy The Unit.

Having a showing every day on a rental property places an undue burden on the tenant.

They are unable to enjoy the property because there are strangers in the home every day.

Even having showings every weekend could qualify as an undue burden in this area.

3. There Must Be Reasonable Accommodations Made To Protect Personal Property.

What is the first thing that most prospective buyers do when entering a home?

They open the closets and cupboards while they wander about the house.

If the tenant has personal possessions and a prospective buyer happens to steal or damage them, then they have a right to compensation.

4. They Have a Right To Be On The Property During The Showing.

The specifics of this tenant right vary from state to state, but in general terms, a landlord cannot dictate when their tenants can or cannot be on the property.

They've paid for the right to live there.

Property owners can show the property, but that doesn't mean a tenant has to change their day for a showing.

Tenant's have specific rights in every jurisdiction regarding how a rental property can be shown.

Some even have the right to terminate their lease early if the rental goes on the market for sale.

By understanding these facts, it becomes easier to balance the need to sell with the need to provide a rental property that can be enjoyed.

Posted on Jul 15, 2015


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