Tenant refusing Potential Buyers to see home

8 Replies

Hi,

We have a tenant in one of our properties that we have decided to sell. She is refusing to let anyone in the home due to COVID19. We are located in CT and per her rights we did not show the place from March-May. Now the state is reopening and she is still refusing to let anyone in. She is on a month to month lease. What do we do here?

The key is communication and respect.You can let her know that the state is reopening. What did your lease agreement indicates? You may give your tenant a proper notice. You can also let your tenant know that you will be disinfecting doorknobs and cupboards handle, etc. 

I don't know too much about the laws in CT, but from I've heard some experienced investors say is they prefer to purchase a rental that is vacant of a tenant. That may sound illogical, but if you think about it, most landlords who are selling a cash flowing property are more than likely doing so because of a poor experience with tenants. Not always the case, but something to consider.

Tell her with restrictions lifting, things are opening up.  You will limit what is touched (she can help by having doors open) and wear PPE (gloves and a mask) and limit your time in the house as much as possible.

While I'm guessing evictions are still banned where you are, you could tell her you are terminating the lease as you are selling the house.

Sounds like with the city opening up she has no legal grounds to prevent you from entering the property.  Start with a conversation to explain the situation.  Assure the tenant you will follow all CDC guidelines and with a proper notice the tenant has the option to leave the property during your visit.  The biggest thing here is to show you understand their concerns but be firm on your rights to enter the property.  

As a last resort I would inform her that she is breaking the lease agreement and you would need to provide her a 30 day notice to terminate the lease.  Not sure where CT evictions are at but you can always threaten to file for an eviction which would hurt her renting future but it would be a last resort.

@Melissa T.

Good points from Teresa and Michael. I agree that over communicating the fact that the potential buyer will follow CDC guidelines will help ease the tenant of any potential risk to their health. 
it seems they are very caution of who they come in contact, so if you try to communicate that concern I’m sure the tenant will be willing to be open. 

@Melissa T.

This will be a problem unless something is in your lease about showing the property. Most leases do not have a stipulation about showing a property. It provides for a landlord or property manager or maintenance staff to enter for related issues, but unfortunately not to show the property to buyers. If the tenant is uncooperative and there is nothing in the lease you need to remove the tenant. Give them a 30 day notice to end the mtm lease.