Reasonable to tell landlord that I MUST be there, for showings?

luyzaMay 20, 2010

Here's the story.

I have been here for 2 years.

Whenever landlord or apartment maintenance come by, they will leave the door open.

I have a cat. All cats here must be indoor cats.

In the past, I've made sure that I am home when maintenance comes by, about 12 times last year, and times so far this year. (Neighbor was throwing baby wipes and tampons down the toilet, which was clogging all our stuff). I'm glad I've been home for those maintenance times, because they just leave the door open.

So I hold on to my cat while they are here.

A few times I have asked "Could you please make sure you close the door, because of my cat?". "Oh, sure, no problem!". 2 minutes later, they leave the door open again.

One time they were painting the wall "frames", and... for some reason, they removed the screen, painted... picked up their stuff, and left the window open, without putting the screen back in!

My cat has run away once because of this.

I am moving, and the landlord wants to show the place to possible new tenants. I understand this, ofcourse.

What can I do to make sure he does not come in unless I *AM* here? I don't want to risk my cat getting lost just before I move almost 2 hours away from here!

In the past when I have reminded him to keep the door closed, he "forgets". No amount of reminders seem to make it sink in.

Please help me! I'm really scared of this!

Also... when I move to the new apartment, how do I make sure the new landlord will close the door? :-/ I had a piece of paper stuck to the door, big letters, saying to close the door as you come in, but current landlord and maintenance seem pretty dense. *sigh*

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Get a proper crate for your cat! You can't expect contractors or agents or anyone else to worry about the cat, but it's a bad idea for you to be around for showings also, so get a proper carrier with a proper closing, have the cat inside when people are coming by and as it's unlikely they'll be there very long, don't go too far and when they are finished (double check with them) let your cat out again.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 7:25PM
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I don't see any reason why you can't be there for showings--it's not like selling a house. I always want to be there, because usually there is more than one person viewing the apartment and they split up. Perhaps I am too suspicious of my fellow human beings, but I do not like someone wandering around my apartment unattended. If the landlord stays with one person, I can be with the other person, to make sure nothing is stolen.

I do think that you *can* expect the landlord to worry about the cat. If pets are allowed in your building, the landlord and contractors should take reasonable care that they don't get loose.

I think the main issue is when will these showings be happening? After work, when there's a good chance you'll be home? Or during the day, when you are stuck at work? Sticking a cat in a small carrier for the entire day is going to be tough on the cat.

I'd try insisting on being there for all showings. If that doesn't work, insist on 24 hours notice of all showings. Get a large crate, like one for a big dog, that can hold a litter box and food and water bowls and put the cat in that any day there is a showing for which you can't be home.

Another thing you could try is to put a note on the outside of your door any time there is a showing: Please be careful! Don't let the cat out! I've seen similar signs when I've been apartment hunting and I've been careful about the pets, even if the agent isn't. But then, I've got a cat of my own.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:22PM
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I would never, EVER depend on strangers, a landlord, signs, my mother, anyone else to keep track of my fast and low down (to the ground) cats! They can be out the door in a second between legs, and it's not reasonable or realistic to believe strangers can be responsible - their intentions may be good, when they're not thinking about what else they're doing, but it's your cat and only you can take proper care of it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:24PM
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My cat does have a crate.
She has a small one, which we take her to the vet with, because it's a short walk there, and a big dog crate, for traveling and emergencies, which has a water bottle, blanket, canned food, a blanket, a little litter and litter pan.

Dear Larke, how can you say I do not properly care for my cat? I care about her more than most people care for their children!

And what contractors or agents do you speak of?
Only my landlord will be showing the place, and only THE maintenance from THESE apartments work in the apartments. Always the same guys, which my neighbors tell me have been working here for more than 10 years.

Laws say the landlord can show the apartment anytime he pleases, when a tenant has given their notice. Right?

Are you telling me I should take my cat to work, every single day, and keep her on the dog crate with a little food and litter?
What if that's not possible where I work?

The landlord and maintenance come in, LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN, do their stuff, and no matter how many times I have told them not to, they still leave it open.

My cat does NOT BOLT TO THE DOOR, she does NOT. But the outside smells like grass, birds, squirrels, soil, and trees! Ofcourse she will try to go there!

They don't need the front door open when they are working in the bathroom which is quite away from said door.

Since I saw that the jerks don't close the door -- even when I told them a couple times before, I put big notes on the doors, the front and the back door. Big font. "KEEP DOOR CLOSED -- because of cat" and they still leave it open!

But Larke, are you really suggesting I quit my job so I can be here at all times? That's completely unreasonable, buddy!

I think I have been very reasonable.
Why can't they too be reasonable?

Larke, what "their intentions may be good" are you talking about?
Their intent to let my cat run away? Oh yeah, such good intentionnnsss!

I asked for the landlord to give me notice of showings, and I told him my concerns, all he said was "Sorry, that won't be possible".

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 2:32PM
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I think you need to read my note again, using a little reason instead of emotion. I did not say to take your cat to work. I did not say you don't care about your cat. I used the word "contractors" to describe the maintenance men, use your own common sense here a bit! Your cat "does not bolt"... then "Of course she will try to go there". Make up your mind! I said to use the crate for the short hour or two when people are expected, but if it's not practical because of your work then leave the cat (in the crate) with a stay-at-home neighbour. For heaven's sake woman, I'm trying to help you! You are NOT going to change the workmen or the landlord, so try instead to do whatever else IS possible.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 4:21PM
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"I did not say to take your cat to work. I did not say you don't care about your cat."
So you want me to leave my cat in a dog crate for 12-16 hours everyday.

"I used the word "contractors" to describe the maintenance men, use your own common sense here a bit!"
Oh, and by "agent" you meant landlord? :P

"Your cat "does not bolt"... then "Of course she will try to go there". Make up your mind!"
Uh? When a door is completely open for 10-15 minutes, bringing in fresh air, the smell of the outside, dontcha think a indoor cat craves it? She does not bolt out, but given 10-15 minutes, she will go outside! Doh!

"I said to use the crate for the short hour or two when people are expected, but if it's not practical because of your work then leave the cat (in the crate) with a stay-at-home neighbour."
Exaclty. Cannot do that. Don't have such neighbors, plus they would not want to stay at my home for 12-16 hours straight, everyday!
And since the landlord doesn't want to give notice, how am I supposed to know he's coming in? Magic? Mind reading?

"For heaven's sake woman, I'm trying to help you! You are NOT going to change the workmen or the landlord, so try instead to do whatever else IS possible."
No kidding. That's what I'm trying to do. Find out something that will work.
You said you want me to read your note. Oh? Who said s/he would not trust a stranger, not even her/his own mother, to look over their cat? You did. Now you're saying I should leave a neighbor with my cat. Haha... gee, that's funny!
You say "get a crate, and look over the cat, and when the visitors are gone, let the cat out" but hellooo, the point is -- I'm not home! Duh! Who is NOT reading the posts? I certainly AM reading the posts!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 5:23PM
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About getting notice of showings--check your state laws on landlord access to your apartment. Most states require 24 or 48 hours notice, or "reasonable" notice of landlord visits. Showing the apartment falls under that. So google your state and "landlord tenant law" and see what you find. You can't refuse to let the landlord in, but you can certainly negotiate with him for times that work for you.

When I rented my current apartment, I was shown several different apartments all in one day, all owned by the same management company. Each listing indicated if there were pets in the apartment, and the agent was careful opening the door each time, so that no dog or cat could get out. The maintenance people, once told that a cat is inside, keep the door closed. I've seen signs on doors warning of pets inside, and I think that's when someone can't be home and has maintenance coming. So there are places where your pets will be noticed and doors will be kept closed.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 5:37PM
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Hello - I never used the word agent in my posts, maybe someone else did. And I never suggested a neighbour stay at your place staring at the carrier, only that you leave it with a neighbour (who presumably would let the cat out until you return). That's right, I would NOT trust busy workmen to keep my cat safe, but a nice neighbour is at least an option compared to them! And if you don't like my suggestions (like you never asked for any - duh!) then just don't use them, but being rude is not the way to say thanks, but no thanks.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 6:21PM
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Thank you for your help.

I don't know when the showings will be going on, my landlord only said "anytime", and when I pressed, he said it could be anytime from 8am to 9pm. So.. :-/ I could be at work at any of those hours. *sigh*

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 6:27PM
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OK this wouldn't let me post until I changed the subject :-P Been trying to post for days.

Anwyay... Camlan:
The laws says landlord must give notice at all times, even when showing the apartment, "which normally means 24-hour notice", unless its an emergency.

So technically I'm covered, right?

Change of subject:
But what if I'm out at work, and he comes in, leaves no sign that he was there? I will have no proof he came in. I have seen a forum thread a few weeks ago, someone asked how to bust her snooping landlord :P That's nice, but it won't keep my cat safe. *sigh*
I mean, sure I can get a nanny cam, but it won't get my cat back if she is lost.

Larke, take a chill pill dude x-D
All I am telling you is that I shouldn't have to keep my cat in a cage "just in case". It is my right and her right to feel safe in our apartment.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 10:52AM
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If all the "shoulds" in the world worked out, we'd be flying high, but they don't, and if we act as if they will and ignore reality, guess who ends up paying? You remind me of my ex-, and you don't want to do that!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 1:40PM
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Ofcourse I realize all the "shoulds" dont always work out.
As such, I realize that even though my cat and I should be safe on our apartment, my landlord might, and has before, left the door open, which is why, even though we should feel safe, I'm not ignoring reality, and I am trying to make sure my cat is safe.


I'm happy for your ex-girlfriend.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 2:29PM
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Luyza, the problem with your particular landlord may be that he feels that since he has told you that he is showing the apartment at any time, he may think that he has already given you the 24 hour warning. I'd call or email him and stress that you expect 24 hours notice before he enters your place, each and every time he is going to show the apartment.

I once got a letter from a landlord that said something like, "This is your notice that from [date] until [date my lease ended] we may enter the apartment at any time to show it to prospective tenants." I asked if I could get a phone call, even just a few hours before he showed up. Nope. He walked into my apartment with a couple, while I was in the shower--I was working a weird shift and 4 pm was in fact the "morning" for me. Then he saw why I wanted advance notice.

If you absolutely can't get him to give you notice of his showings, even after you quote the law to him, can you fix up your bathroom or bedroom as a safe place for the cat? Put a sign on the door, "Please keep cat inside." It's not perfect, but it might help.

I know that if I started to crate my cat every morning before I left for work, it would take about three days before he started hiding so that I couldn't find him.

I'm wondering what the legal ramifications would be to the landlord if your cat got out and was lost. Since the cat is your property, the landlord might be held responsible. But that's something that would probably vary from state to state.

It's understand able why the landlord doesn't want to give you notice. If someone calls about the apartment, he wants to be able to show it right away. He's afraid that if the prospective tenant has to wait a day, they might find something else. But this is one of my tests for future landlords. Do they respect the privacy of their tenants? It's a strike against them if they seem to disregard warning a tenant that they are about to enter the apartment for a showing.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 4:12PM
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Thanks Camlan I'll call and tell him that I expect 24-hour notice, what you said makes sense.

I don't care about money if my cat runs away because of the landlord, it won't bring my cat back.
I would however try to get as much money as possible from him, though, so he learns his lesson.

I thought of keeping my cat to the bedroom, but the landlord would have to show the bedroom too, you know? And he always leaves the front door open anyway.
I could maybe put a lock in the bedroom door though! Hahaha... Oh my...!

That's a good point about testing your future landlord! I'll keep THAT one in mind!

Like I said, since the first offense, I have always had a big notes on the doors, to keep door closed because of cat, but they don't seem to care, they still leave the door open.

I might tell my landlord that I am working from home, maybe then he will give notice? Then make a record of me doing the dishes, or watching TV, talking on the phone... saying things like "Hey, how's it going Camlan? *pause* Oh, not much, just doing the dishes and watching TV." then keep that record running, so he thinks I'm home.

Maybe I'll even tell him my family is in town from across the country, and they are visiting me during the day, so please don't interrupt us, give us notice so we can go out.

Wow... amazing that he walked in when you were in the shower!! I bet that couple didn't rent from him! How stupid...:O

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 5:03PM
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One thing I should clear up here is that from your original note, it was not clear to me that you were asking about long term help re the cat, and I just thought it was for a couple of showings or so, which I why I mentioned the crate idea. If I'd known you had to deal with a lousy landlord showing every day for a long time, obviously something else has to be done. Have you got a relative you can just leave the cat with for a while?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 6:09PM
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What can I do to make sure he does not come in unless I *AM* here?

You can't control this so you have to figure out a way to keep your cat safe until you move. Cats don't mind small confined spaces, so you should be able to work something out. I would buy a dog exercise pen and stick it in the middle of your living room with the litter box, food and water. And of course the cat.

Here is a link that might be useful: X Pen

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 9:00PM
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Do you have a lease? Seems like the obvious first step.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 8:13AM
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1. change the locks so the landlord does not have the key.
2. the landlord must give you 24 hours notice before entering, unless emergency.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 2:28AM
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Larke-"being rude is not the way to say thanks, but no thanks."

Got that right. I thought you were being very helpful. Nothing like shooting the messenger hmm?

Like westvillager pointed out, it would be helpful if the OP took the time to read her lease.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:12AM
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