Tenant moving out and not letting me show the house

30 Replies

Hi, I have a tenant who just gave her 30-day notice to leave the rental. I told her that I'd let her know in advance when a candidate tenant wants to come see the house. Her response was no, she is not going to allow any showings (her reason is Coronavirus health hazard from strangers). She even said I, myself (the landlord), cannot go see the house to assess its condition until after she's moved out. 

Do I really wait to show the house until she's moved out? Obviously this is going to push out when the next tenant will be move in quite a bit, and will for sure extend a time gap in between tenant occupancies...which just equals losing $$$

Thoughts:

1. She has a reasonable point about Corona.

2. Your lease probably doesn't let her ban you from the property. 

3. Most of the time I have not found it to be worth showing a property with a tenant still in it. They are moving, everything is a mess, and you have to find someone that can envision the place without all their crap in it. Not to mention you don't have any chance to clean or make repairs. I don't bother showing these days until the tenant is gone except in very rare circumstances. 

@Isaac B.   She can't ban you from the property.  If she won't show you the property and results in it being vacant, take that from her deposit (ya I know that probably isn't legal).  When did she give notice?  If her lease started on the 1st of the month, notice starts 30 days from then.  So if she gave it yesterday, she's on the hook for rent until the end of April.  If she's moving in a few days, she can't be that worried about the virus since she's traveling and coming in contact with who knows how many people.

Originally posted by @Isaac B. :

@Theresa Harris the lease expires April 14th. She gave the notice today. Does that mean she's on the hook to pay rent through May 14th? (if I understood correctly)

 If she is on a defined term there's likely no requirement for notice. If her lease term expired and she is on month to month, then she likely has to provide 1 full month. But you should know what your lease says.

She is on a 1-year lease from 4/15/2019 to 4/14/2020. The contract has this term in it "Right of Entry: Landlord or its agents may enter may enter the Premises at reasonable times to inspect the Premises, to make any alternations, improvements or repairs or to show the Premises to a prospective tenant, buy or lender. In the event of an emergency, Landlord may enter the Premises at any time"

Originally posted by @Isaac B. :

@Theresa Harris the lease expires April 14th. She gave the notice today. Does that mean she's on the hook to pay rent through May 14th? (if I understood correctly)

 If she had to give 30 days' notice and only gave it today, then she's on the hook until April 22 at the earliest.  Look at how the lease is written-mine require 30 days' notice, but it is effective from the first of the month-so if they gave notice March 25, that means the notice starts April 1 and they pay for all of April.

I’ve never shown a property with a current tenant still occupying it. I only show them once they’re vacant and fully cleaned. They just show better and there’s no tenant to try to schedule around. 

And that’s in normal times. With everything going on right now with the Coronavirus, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for your tenant to not want a bunch of strangers in her home while she’s still living there. 

Just my two cents. 

Originally posted by @Theresa Harris :
Originally posted by @Isaac B.:

@Theresa Harris the lease expires April 14th. She gave the notice today. Does that mean she's on the hook to pay rent through May 14th? (if I understood correctly)

 If she had to give 30 days' notice and only gave it today, then she's on the hook until April 22 at the earliest.  Look at how the lease is written-mine require 30 days' notice, but it is effective from the first of the month-so if they gave notice March 25, that means the notice starts April 1 and they pay for all of April.

 What you are suggesting is not legal in portland oregon. 

If i were the OP i would let the tenant have her 30 days. Once she has vacated then show the unit. Also, be sure you understand the new landlord laws before you list the rental! 

I don't know about there, but here the courts are closed until at least April 7th.  And good luck getting a judge to tell you you had the right to force strangers into your tenant's home during lockdown.

Tenants are people.  What do you really care if she moves out April 14th or April 23rd?  Will that really matter as far as finding another tenant?

I agree with the others about waiting to fix and clean a unit before showing it.  For another reason not mentioned - liability.  Tenants can easily claim that something was stolen when you showed the unit to a stranger.

I also learned not to show a unit, even if it had been vacated, that wasn't ready yet.  The applicant will swear they can see beyond the dirt and the ladders and unpainted walls, but I learned that that leaves an indelible mindset on an applicant.  They will think of their unit as in need of work.  They'll move in and see problems and complain about the smallest, weird things.

Whereas, if you wait and show it while it still smells like fresh paint and the carpets have stripes from the vacuum cleaner, in their minds the place is in great shape and they will overlook things.

It's the same idea as curb appeal.

Complicated... I'm in the same position.  I have a single house available/showing from March 1.  Tenant is in the house until Apr 30th.  I'm not bothering them now.  No reason to, even thought I could from March 1, but why?  I will go in the market on Apr 1.  

This is my approach: 

1) I could do a video conference and show the property to them.  But that will not work for my tenants. So Bummer!!!!

1) I want less showings as possible, so given the circumstances, only people that can give me a non refundable deposit of $150 will be granted a showing to the property.

2) I will give the current tenant $150 for showing, if they agree. 

Less calls, less showings, less $ spent, we all win at the end.  

STAY HOME, DO YOUR PART, IS UP TO US!  LESS TRIP TO RENTALS = GOOD THING!!! 

Please spread the voice! 

PS and who ever don't agree with me, please please please PM me!!!!! 

Originally posted by @Mary M. :
Originally posted by @Theresa Harris:
Originally posted by @Isaac B.:

@Theresa Harris the lease expires April 14th. She gave the notice today. Does that mean she's on the hook to pay rent through May 14th? (if I understood correctly)

 If she had to give 30 days' notice and only gave it today, then she's on the hook until April 22 at the earliest.  Look at how the lease is written-mine require 30 days' notice, but it is effective from the first of the month-so if they gave notice March 25, that means the notice starts April 1 and they pay for all of April.

 What you are suggesting is not legal in portland oregon. 

If i were the OP i would let the tenant have her 30 days. Once she has vacated then show the unit. Also, be sure you understand the new landlord laws before you list the rental! 

Where I am the 30 days' notice takes effect from the 1st or 15th of the month (depending on when your lease started).  The original poster should check their lease and their local laws. 

Local laws trump what is in the lease.  In Oregon tenants can give a 30 day notice at any time.




@Isaac B.

You’ve heard from both ends of the spectrum: the “what will it really hurt”/“is it worth the trouble and frustration in your life stressing about it” for so little difference camp (I’m in that camp) and also the camp that says “you both signed the lease, so do whatever you want as long as it’s covered under the lease” camp (who clearly don’t understand Portland rentals and aren’t going to be there to pay for the attorneys and damages you’ll owe after the fact if you try to force an issue).

If the tenant isn’t willing to sign an agreement to show and take compensation for those showings then I wouldn’t push the issue right now. Last thing you want is a pissed off tenant making showings difficult! Instead, use this as an opportunity to fight the narrative in Portland that landlords are the devil and show empathy, express understanding, and make sure she has what she needs to weather the coming weeks. Then, when you’ve given her grace, maybe she’ll be willing to walk that middle ground and FaceTime or shoot a video of the place for you so you can get idea of scope of repairs/updates needed for the vacancy turn!


Best of luck! 

Mathew

I'm in the camp that not marketing a property prior to it being move in ready is wasted time and vacancy.  Yes I agree you get better results when its ready but I also see concerns with someone needing to move in asap and not planning ahead being a potential issue.  

I would tell the tenant you will be completing a tour of the property to complete a video walk through to show to potential tenants.  You'll be wearing gloves and a mask and will be in and out in 10 minutes.  They can wait in their car if it makes them feel safer.  This will allow you to market the property without having to bring strangers into the tenants home unnecessarily and help to accommodate her requests.  Not allowing access is not acceptable and in violation of the lease.  Courts suspended evictions but a judge can still have a police officer accompany you to the property.

Originally posted by @Isaac B. :

Hi, I have a tenant who just gave her 30-day notice to leave the rental. I told her that I'd let her know in advance when a candidate tenant wants to come see the house. Her response was no, she is not going to allow any showings (her reason is Coronavirus health hazard from strangers). She even said I, myself (the landlord), cannot go see the house to assess its condition until after she's moved out. 

Do I really wait to show the house until she's moved out? Obviously this is going to push out when the next tenant will be move in quite a bit, and will for sure extend a time gap in between tenant occupancies...which just equals losing $$$

Coronavirus aside under normal circumstances I'd say you are SOL. You've got no real recourse against her. You're only recourse is to file an eviction which wouldn't get a court date until after she was gone so it'd be dropped and you'd be wasting your time and money. Under current situations you can't even get an eviction court date so you're double SOL.......Lastly just thinking out loud here what kind of maniac is subjecting their tenants to strangers going into their homes for showings right now? Occupied showings are bad business in general. In the current situation of the world it's beyond ridiculous to think a tenant would let you do it.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Coronavirus aside under normal circumstances I'd say you are SOL. You've got no real recourse against her. 

 This is 100% incorrect. As long as he has a normal lease that allows him access with reasonable notice, and allows him to show the home within 30 days of a tenant leaving. If this woman will not allow it he needs to call a police officer who will force her to allow it. Whether or not showings are allowed is not something courts typically rule on, the cop will tell everybody it's a civil matter and the landlord can do whatever his lease says he can do.

He doesn't need permission from anybody. Just slap a 24 hour notice on the door and open it up 24 hours later.

(And yes, I have been a landlord in Portland)

 Wow. No, God no. I hope folks aren't reading what you're saying and assuming there is even a hint of factual accuracy to any of it. If the landlord called the Police the Police would tell him there is nothing that they can do as it's a civil matter. Under no circumstances would the Police come to the property and force the door to the tenant's house open and escort people in there. 

Under no circumstances does a 24 hour notice make it lawful for a landlord to force entry into a home when the occupant has refused entry. That would be breaking and entering. Could also lead to the tenant shooting the landlord legally. If that weren't the case why in the hell do you think we are required by law to go through a court eviction process to regain possession of our properties?

Please do not give out information when you've got no idea what you're talking about. Someone may read it and mistake it for credible information. That'd be very dangerous for everyone involved.

@JD Martin I agree on points 1 and 2 but I always advertise and pre screen and have existing tenants show and all but a couple times as worked very well. I have little to no vacancy

Originally posted by @Account Closed :
Originally posted by @James Wise:

 Wow. No, God no. I hope folks aren't reading what you're saying and assuming there is even a hint of factual accuracy to any of it. If the landlord called the Police the Police would tell him there is nothing that they can do as it's a civil matter. Under no circumstances would the Police come to the property and force the door to the tenant's house open and escort people in there. 

Under no circumstances does a 24 hour notice make it lawful for a landlord to force entry into a home when the occupant has refused entry. That would be breaking and entering. Could also lead to the tenant shooting the landlord legally. If that weren't the case why in the hell do you think we are required by law to go through a court eviction process to regain possession of our properties?

 Again, so long as his lease has absolutely normal wording, he has every right to both enter and show the premises. If anybody attempts to stop him from doing this, they are breaking the law and this is no longer a civil matter. If you call the police because you are arguing with a dumb tenant, then yes, they will tell you it's a civil matter and hang up. Said dumb tenant cannot restrict access to the residence, the landlord has every right to kick the door in. We are not talking about gaining "possession" of a property. We are talking about normal inspections/showings that are required in the lease. Landlord always has RIGHT of entry after 24 hours notice.

And yes, I've gone through some very similar scenarios in Portland. Yes, I cut a door in half with a sawzall while the police watched.

Oregon does not have the ridiculous sorts of regulations places like CA and NY have. It is somewhat tenant friendly, but they are not god.

 Again.......Zero credibility to anything you're saying.

Originally posted by @Todd Powell :

@JD Martin I agree on points 1 and 2 but I always advertise and pre screen and have existing tenants show and all but a couple times as worked very well. I have little to no vacancy

 Naturally others may have different experiences. It depends a lot on where you are, class of housing, etc. Personally, one month of vacancy is great for me because it allows me to catch up on any needed repairs or maintenance. Most of our properties turn over at two years or more, so it only works out to a 2-3% vacancy rate.