What is considered 'reasonable notice' to show house with tenant?

8 Replies

Hello all - 

My current tenant will be moving out in September so I've listed the house for rent.  The tenant either is unresponsive to showing requests or says they need more time when we do. Our lease says:

'Landlord shall give Tenant reasonable notice of such showings. Tenant agrees to keep Property reasonably clean and orderly and that any pets permitted on the Property shall not be allowed to obstruct nor interfere with any showing of the Property for rent or sale. Tenant agrees to make reasonable accommodations to comply.'

So, my question is, does anyone have a guideline for 'reasonable notice' for showings? Any advice on trying to rent to new tenant with current tenant in place is appreciated! Thx. 

Hey Elizabeth! Great question, this can actually be at the state level (for example, in MI reasonable notice is at least 24 hours), unless a different number is specifically stated in your lease. Once you find the number in your state, I would recommend MEETING with the current tenants (do not email or call, you'll have a much more honest conversation in person). Let them know that you're simply looking to avoid vacancy, and the more cooperation you receive from them, the higher the chances that someone will sign the lease and the showings will stop. Then ask them if there is a particular day or time that absolutely does not work for showings, and by showing that you are willing to work with them, most tenants will be compliant for showings on the other days/times.

This is definitely a case for open communication, you are both on the same side and want the showings to end, but what you want to make clear is that they can have a hand in that by making their home as attractive as possible, and opening up showing times so that people will want to see it and sign a lease.

Good luck! 

I would say 24-48 hour written notice would suffice as "reasonable."

One thing to take into account is the time you wish to enter. Normal business hours are usually a safe bet, so if you present the tenant with a written (I would also send an email if possible, never rely on one form of communication) date and time block that you will be entering to show the property there is little they can do to dispute your actions.

Always remember that they can always take to civil court and being a landlord/property manager is one of the most litigious careers in the country, so make sure to document the process each step of the way to best protect yourself and your assets.

24 hrs is generally considered acceptable.  And, by-the-way, your lease probably also gives you the right to enter the property for other reasons - repairs, inspections, etc.  My suspicion is this tenant doesn't want you to see something, so I'd go in for an inspection anyway.  As far as the showings are concerned, stop asking and start telling.  Give them at least 24 hours notice, but simply tell them when you are coming in and that it isn't negotiable.

I would start with looking at the states Landlord Tenant Laws for this.  I would bet its well defined.  2 or 3 days is more than reasonable notice. I might be inclined to do an open house and give the tenant window of time they need to be gone.  If the tenant is a pain then I would wait till the unit is vacant.  You many also need time to fix and paint things.

proper notice to enter is usually defined by the state as 24 hours notice. some states require 48. that is your starting point. that being said, coming through with a high amount of showings can be considered as disrupting the tenants right to peaceful enjoyment of their home. if you plan on coming through with one or two, you should be ok (legally) to give tenant prior written notice and come in regardless of their objections. if you think it may take multiple showings, you are likely better off to work with the tenant to set up a block of time for an open house. in extreme situations, you can consider offering a gift card to a local restaurant or movie theater to get them out. the tricky part is striking a balance between what is legal, entering with proper notice, and what is fair and reasonable, since the tenant can purposely leave the house an extreme mess to make it harder to re-rent, badmouth you to potential renters, and may even try to refuse entry. how you approach will depend on your relationship with tenant.

Before you show the place, I would give a 48 hour notice that you will be entering the unit to inspect for any repairs that need to be done. The last thing you want is to give notice, bring by potential future tenants, and find out the place is a disaster. Then, if they say it's not a good time, email back and reiterate that it wasn't a request, and site the lease that you will be entering the unit. 

It is per your state law 24-48 hours usually. When starting showings ask the current tenant what times for showings are normally good for them hopefully when they are normally out of the house. WHen you are talking to prospective renters and have to give notice to the current tenants to schedule showing times tell the prospective tenants I need to be considerate of the current tenant (it reminds them you arent just being difficult). Try to steer prospective tenants to the same times. Once people give notice they no longer consider themselves your tenant. The nicest people become rude and uncooperative. The