Showing Rental Property While Occupied

4 Replies

Tenants gave notice that they plan to vacate. Lease Agreement stipulates they must provide 45 day written notice, however it was less than 30 days. Lease Agreement also stipulates that Landlord can show property to prospective new tenants during this time frame, however tenants are refusing to allow any showing and advised that they called the Sheriff and was told that it is illegal for LandLord to show property while tenant still occupies the property. Unless the law has changed recently, I am not aware of this. Location - Madison County, Illinois. Does anyone have any insight?

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard the police and sheriff say something blatantly wrong, I wouldn't need to operate a rental property business!

Generally, it IS completely legal to show the property while the property is occupied provided the tenant is given the required notice (24 hours in Ohio). Obviously, you need to KNOW the law in Illinois!!!

However, showing the property with an angry tenant in place usually is non-productive. Likewise, it is a waste of time to show a property if the tenants are pigs and the property is trashed, which is often the case with disgruntled tenants.

In Ohio, if the tenant doesn't give a proper 30 day notice, I can keep their deposit as damages if I can't re-rent the property. So, even if you can't show it, you may be able to keep their deposit as damages (again, you need to KNOW your state law).

Good Luck,


Try playing the 'Sheriff Game' yourself. For real.

Since your tenants have violated two lease terms, commence eviction proceedings for breach of lease.

Here in NC one can have the court summons delivered by a Sheriff's Deputy. This is intimidating and lets your tenants know you are for real.

If your lease is worded correctly these expenses come from the Security Deposit. Plus, you will get an eviction on these tenants' record, which will prevent any responsible landlord from renting to them in the future.

Of course, if your tenants are 'judgement proof' they will not care. But, hopefully, you didn't rent to 'judgement proof' tenants.

Tenants can sabotage your showings really easily. All it takes is some dirt, or some stinky garbage, or, the worst, they follow you around and bad mouth the landlord.

My suggestion would be to inform them that they owe you the 45 days rent, as stipulated in their lease, UNLESS you find a new tenant and you can't find a new tenant without showing the house.

Tenants will often listen to their pocketbook.

Legally, you can probably force them to show, but I don't think you'd get much benefit from it.

I like my units to be empty and already cleaned and prepped before I show them. It might make for more down time, but I get better tenants in a spotlessly clean rental. People can't see through the existing tenant's dirt and bad furniture.

I would wait for the tenant to move out of the unit. It's not worth the hassle and confrontation. Unless you like that kind of stuff - then it's great. Just kidding.

Anyway, here's a tip. After this tenant moves out and you've cleaned and painted the unit - take some photos.

Then when you're ready to rent the unit in the future you can at least meet with prospective tenants and present the photos. This will give them an idea of what the unit will look like when they move into the place.

Better yet, build a web site and upload the photos and drive prospects to the site. Hope this helps.

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