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Leasehold and landlord entry

Posted by scajennifer (My Page) on
Wed, May 17, 06 at 15:44

I am leasing an upscale condo in Orange County CA. My rent is 1800./month. I moved in in August 2005 and signed a one year lease. In February, 2006, the owners put it on the market.

What are my rights AND responsibilities in terms of making this home available to prospective buyers?

Do I have to have a lockbox?

Can I require specific appointment times for showings?

So far, I have allowed showings without appointments three days a week within certain hours.

I will be working from home for the summer, and cannot work with the threat of the doorbell ringing at any time. I have requested "by appointment only" and am getting significant flak from the listing agent. The owners are very accommodating to me, but I think the agent is trying to push all of us around to get more traffic through.

My lease is up 7/31 at which point I'll be moving, but I need some advice for getting through the summer -- and to know whether if this all becomes to much, if I have the right to say "ENOUGH."

Thanks,

Jennifer


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Leasehold and landlord entry

You and your landlord have the say, not the listing agent. The listing agent is only looking at the commision he/she will get if it sells.

Stick with how you are doing it or change to by appointment only if that will fit your work schedule better. You have about 70 days left, the only person you need to keep happy is the landlord and then only so he has no excuse to keep your deposit.

Talk to the landlord about it. Tell him you are fine with by appointment and/or X days of the week during certain hours only.

If push comes to shove, and you are not worried about your deposit. Unless your lease states that you have to allow access for future tenants (a buyer is no different) to view the apartment near the end of your tenancy, or the laws in your state say you have to, you don't have to let anyone in.


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RE: Leasehold and landlord entry

Thank you, gammy. The agent begrudgingly agreed to "by appointment only" so we'll see how that goes.

Bottom line is, I really just want someone to acknolwedge how this whole thing has totally turned my life upside down. Aside from the owners (who really have turned all communication w/ me over to the agent BECAUSE they feel like jerks for doing this to me and can't handle it), no one has any empathy whatsoever. None of them see my point of view in this, what I'm going through, but expect me to see theirs and understand THEIR needs. But as I told the agent, I am the only one really giving here.

I spent $10,000 to move back to CA from the east last August and expected, based on my conversations with the owners, to be here in this condo a couple of years at least, and then buy something. I barely get settled, and this happens. My schedule has to change, my pets are upset (I have to take my dog to work with me, and every where else when the lockbox is out). Constantly worry about somebody letting the cat out. Filthy shoes on the carpet. Find a new home and probably spend a couple thousand to move AGAIN. Sure, this is all a possible risk when you lease/rent...but was NOT part of the picture that I had in my head after our conversations last summer.

Thanks for letting me vent. The whole thing just stinks! And NO, I can't afford to lose the deposit. I sent a kissy-kissy email to the owners yesterday after this conversation with the realtor telling them HOW MUCH I wanted to help them, and be cooperative...blah blah.

Jennifer


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RE: Leasehold and landlord entry

What are my rights AND responsibilities in terms of making this home available to prospective buyers?

What does your LEASE say, and what does California LAW say?

Look up the CA Residential Landlord and Tenant Law ot see what kind of motice, etc. you are entitled to.


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RE: Leasehold and landlord entry

I'm a Realtor/Landlord and specialize in selling Rental property. Its the norm in my area to give tenants 24 hour notice. Its done this way to keep the tenants happy, prospective buyers typically want the building to generate money. Easiest way is to keep the building full. It also gives the tenant plenty of notice to pick up and try to leave the apartment.

I would print out a cute sign that you leave on the door. Please remove your shoes. In MN its pretty common but the signs help.

If the agent is giving you any more flack tell them you are going to be buying a home soon, and ask to see whats available that you can afford. Agents LOVE commission! This should get them to treat you like a client instead of a tenant who is in the way. When you do buy feel free to use any agent. Just don't sign anything now.

I could list numerous stories about why 24 hours is much better for everyone. I have seen just about everything even with the notice, walking in on naked people, passed out, doing drugs, having sex, sleeping, only kids home, an elderly lady who had fallen hours ago, extreamly messy apartments that were clean two days earlier, kids skipping school.

One of the funniest showings was a owner was selling by himself. I brought a client through after the owner was notified 2 days earlier. He told us all about the building and how he was so proud of being drug free. First apartment we walked into had a pot plant in the living room that was HUGE! At least 8 feet tall. IN the back bedroom there was a pot garden all growing under lights, I saw pipes and other items in that room also. I just started laughing when we went in the place. I called the owner the next day and asked what he was doing to get that unit to show better? He said why..what did you client say. I asked him about the pot... He was oblivious to the entire deal. He just thought they were flowers!

Best of luck


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RE: Leasehold and landlord entry

This agent is going about this all wrong. It is to the agents benefit get on your good side. A disgruntled tenant can do a lot to wreck a saleleave the apartment dirty and messy or make it appear that there are problems with the plumbing or electricity, for starters.

I would try approaching the agent like this. You will be working from home this summer. With an appointment, the condo will be clean and the dog will be gone. Without an appointment, you will be sitting at your desk working, perhaps attired in your skivvies, the dog will be there and there may be three days worth of dishes in the kitchen sink. You will have to remain in the condo during the showing, because you have to get your work done and cant just up and leave on the spur of the moment. This might get the agent to see that its to his/her advantage to make appointments.

Check your states laws for how much notice the landlord needs to give you before entering the rental. Here in CT, the law states that the landlord must give "reasonable" notice, which is usually interpreted by the courts as at least 24 hours. The agent is acting in the place of the landlord and must follow the same rules. In my state, you don't have to agree to a lockbox. I would do my darndest to get rid of the lockbox completely, especially with pets.

You do not have to take your dog to work with you. If the agent wants a lockbox, the agent has to deal with the dog.

I do have to mention that I dont think you really need to leave the apartment for every showing. When owners leave a house, they have something to gain by a showing because they want to sell their house. You dont. And, since you are not the owner, buyers shouldnt have any qualms about talking about the place in front of you. In fact, given what youve said about the dirt and your worries about your cat, I think you should be there. You have a right to have your life disrupted as little as possible by this sale.

My last apartment was sold FSBO. The owner had a friend showing the place, not a agent. I wasnt always notified about showings. I came home from work one day to find my computer turned on and a strange man in my bedroom going through my dresser drawers. Um, NO! I could see that a buyer would need to look in closets, kitchen cabinets, the refrigerator and the stove, but not my furniture. Thats when I insisted that I be home for every showing. When I found out that this man was the eventual buyer, I found a new apartment and moved out two days before he took possession.


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RE: Leasehold and landlord entry

Lazygardens,

My lease only addresses showing the condo to prospective tenants during the last 30 days if I intend to move.

I did sign a form allowing a lockbox -- but the lockbox isn't attached to the door so that I can control it and bring it inside when I don't want access.

The agent is trying to use "we only legally have to give you 24 hours notice" as a threat, when in fact that's all I want!! I do'nt want three days a week of open house. I clean, I leave and take my dog, and then come home four hours later to find out no one even showed up. Or I am home and trying to work, and the bell rings periodically just as soon as I get into a project.

My question was really intended to hopefully elicit comments from someone familiar with CA law. Frankly, until I really need it, I don't have time to read and interpret the CA code. I will when and if I have to but in the meantime was hoping for someone who might be more familiar with it.

Thanks everyone for all of your advice.


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RE: Leasehold and landlord entry

It took me about three minutes to find the link below. The pertinent info is this:

The landlord or the landlord's agent must give the tenant reasonable advance notice in writing before entering the unit, and can enter only during normal business hours (generally, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays). The notice must state the date, approximate time and purpose of enter.

Special rules apply if the purpose of the entry is to show the rental to a purchaser. In that case, the landlord or the landlord's agent may give the tenant notice orally, either in person or by telephone. The law considers 24 hours' notice to be reasonable in most situations. However, before oral notice can be given, the landlord or agent must first have notified the tenant in writing that the rental is for sale and that the landlord or agent may contact the tenant orally to arrange to show it. This written notice must be given to the tenant within 120 days of the giving of the oral notice. The notice must state the date, approximate time and purpose of entry the landlord or agent may enter only during normal business hours, unless the tenant consents to entry at a different time. When the landlord or agent enters the rental, he or she must leave a business card or other written evidence of entry.

There's more info on the site.

Here is a link that might be useful: CA landlord/tenant law


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