Tenant doesn't want interior pictures taken

6 Replies

Good afternoon all! I am thankful for the wealth of knowledge that you all provide and this network. I have found myself having difficulty making REOs simply because of commitments with the kids and time crunching. Anyhow- I have a property coming off of a lease at the end of April. Considering that tax time is right around the corner it may not be a bad idea to capitalize on prospective tenants using tax refunds to assist in down-payments towards a new place in the spring. Feb-March-April is 3 months away- I would at least like to start gathering a potential list of interested applicants. During this process the tenant has asked that interior pictures are not used because it would show their "stuff". Like a couch and table?? Anyhow looking at the tenant laws in Virginia you wouldn't want to violate privacy or due anything that may cause un reasonable stress. Then again looking at the agreement "which I inherited" It does appear that  there is a statement that goes as follows:

(Should the Lessor or Lessee, at any time during the term of this lease, give notice in writing to the other of intention to terminate, immediately upon such notice the said lessor shall have right to enter the premise, whether or not the Lessee, or any of the household be present, without liability of any prosecution, claim or cause of action for damages, for the purpose of exhibiting the premise to prospective Lessees and in order to put up a "for rent" or "for sale" notice. ) 

Now this doesn't say anything about pictures. I am considering showing the tenant this portion of the contract and asking would they rather have potential folks walking through the house, or settle for the pictures? Or would it be best to simply wait it out and begin Marketing the house in May? 

@Jairus King

The lease says that you can show the house to people, but does not say anything about pictures. I never thought about that being an issue. I am sure my leases say the same thing. Do you have previous pictures or can you google the address and see if there are some pictures left over from a previous listing? Maybe previous owner has some pictures as a last resort?

If you can't find any of these then you might just need to use exterior pictures until they move out.

I'm with @John Underwood if you can find prior photos. In all honesty, unless the tenants stuff is amazing, I'd rather show photos of a vacant apartment. Most people want to think of a place as theirs and not the prior tenants. It's oftentimes difficult for tenants to get the image of someone else's stuff out of their head and is likely a negative rather than a positive. 

Either way, I wouldn't wait to market the property. I have a nearly zero vacancy record because I rent a property prior to the end of the lease. Photos or not, you can still market a product as available for lease. Yes you might get fewer responses, but people will still call. If people need a place, they will be sure to call. 

From looking at other post on this site, I have heard of some landlords offering gift cards to their current tenant for the added trouble. From your contract it looks as if you are able to get the property ready to rent before your current tenant moves out. Maybe you can take pics of the bathrooms, kitchen, and general areas without furniture. Also, be sure to verify your prospective tenant's financials with Finret. 

Thanks everyone! I have been getting a few nibbles from Marketing the outside. I was unable to get old interior shots. I think Kristina makes an awesome point about potential tenants needing to visualize themselves in the space. If there is a serious interest that works then we will have to conduct a walkthrough.

Originally posted by @Jairus King :

Good afternoon all! I am thankful for the wealth of knowledge that you all provide and this network. I have found myself having difficulty making REOs simply because of commitments with the kids and time crunching. Anyhow- I have a property coming off of a lease at the end of April. Considering that tax time is right around the corner it may not be a bad idea to capitalize on prospective tenants using tax refunds to assist in down-payments towards a new place in the spring. Feb-March-April is 3 months away- I would at least like to start gathering a potential list of interested applicants. During this process the tenant has asked that interior pictures are not used because it would show their "stuff". Like a couch and table?? Anyhow looking at the tenant laws in Virginia you wouldn't want to violate privacy or due anything that may cause un reasonable stress. Then again looking at the agreement "which I inherited" It does appear that  there is a statement that goes as follows:

(Should the Lessor or Lessee, at any time during the term of this lease, give notice in writing to the other of intention to terminate, immediately upon such notice the said lessor shall have right to enter the premise, whether or not the Lessee, or any of the household be present, without liability of any prosecution, claim or cause of action for damages, for the purpose of exhibiting the premise to prospective Lessees and in order to put up a "for rent" or "for sale" notice. ) 

Now this doesn't say anything about pictures. I am considering showing the tenant this portion of the contract and asking would they rather have potential folks walking through the house, or settle for the pictures? Or would it be best to simply wait it out and begin Marketing the house in May? 

 Total waste of time. Just wait till the house is vacant. Do your rent ready reno then start marketing it. Doing it any other way is the Real Estate equivalent of a dog chasing his tail.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

Not sure about your state lease, but here in Texas the time period to show the property is limited in the lease. It is usually the last 30 days of the lease (some use 60 days). Prior to that we can't put a lockbox on the door or show the property.

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