How much would you ask your landlord for inconvenience

46 Replies

Hey folks,

I am helping a "tenant" friend decide how much should he ask his landlord for the following inconvenience. Landlord's Listing Agent is preparing the house for sale while tenant is still living in the house. House is in SF Bay Area, California. Landlord's Listing Agent is requesting Broker's Open, 3 hour open house Sat/Sun for 1-3 weekends, several possible private showings.

What would you ask landlord for inconvenience? A months rent? In this area, one month rent is about $3000.

What does the lease say? A lot of leases include a clause that the landlord is allowed to do showings once the tenant has given notice, typically in the last 30 days of the lease. If the lease includes such a clause, then your friend will probably not have any luck getting money for "inconvenience".

Even if the lease doesn't have a clause for this. both parties would need to probably be reasonable and accommodating. I've never heard of someone getting compensated for inconvenience.

Thanks Wendy. California is very "tenant friendly" state.

Lease says: Landlord has right to enter property (with 24 hour notice) to show to prospective buyers, during "reasonable hours". In a recent court case on this topic back in 2013, Court allowed Landlords to have open houses but with these restrictions. So what the landlord is asking in this case is going beyond what was allowed:

  • Listing agent could hold 2 open houses per month
  • Listing agent must give 10-day advance email notice to the tenant of proposed weekend open house dates, and give the tenant 48-hours to acknowledge or provide an alternative weekend date
  • Originally posted by @Andy A. :

    What would you ask landlord for inconvenience? A months rent? In this area, one month rent is about $3000.

    You can ask for any reduction you want, otherwise the house will be left a mess on each open house; clothes everywhere, leave the lounge a mess, bras hanging off door knobs, underpants drying in the shower, no washing up done for at least 3 days beforehand (so the sink brimming with dirty plates, cups, etc).

    Still it might be a stretch to get actual compensation. Probably what your friend could do is ask for compensation or insist that the landlord stick within the bounds of what is allowed in CA. Your friend does not have to agree to showings that go beyond that.

    Why not just show the landlord the legislation and take a stand? What if the landlord says no to the fee (which doesn't sound reasonable to me)?

    Thanks again Wendy. Good point James.

    There is a covenant of quiet enjoyment which that level of open houses would seem to violate.  I would start by asking for 1 month free, but be prepared to negotiate from there.  It's one thing to show the place while you're at work.  It's another to disrupt every weekend day, ever weekend for 3 weekends. 


    Why would the tenant be difficult in this situation?  Was there a bad situation during the tenancy?

    Tie the request to the property going under contract. If it sells fast the intrusion will be minimal AND the seller/owner will be happy.

    The landlord is asking for very reasonable things. Should he not be allowed to rent his house until your friend has moved out? What warrants you being so difficult? Cut the entitlement crap. You didn't win the lottery, you're just moving. If you don't want to pay rent live on the street or buy something. If one of my tenants did this I'd cave and give them a break on a week's rent or so, but come time to return their deposit I'd make sure I brought the team from CSI to go through that place.

    @Wendy Noble

     @Josh C.

    I think you guys may have missed the part where this is not a typical 30 day move out situation where the tenant gave notice and the landlord needs to re-rent. 

    The landlord is choosing to sell.  There's no specification whether or not the tenant would have chosen to renew if there wasn't a sale going on.  

    In my opinion, the landlord in inconveniencing the tenant.  There doesn't seem to be an entitlement issue here.


    A lot depends on the relationship of the tenant and landlord. If I had a tenant that I had treated well during our landlord/tenant relationship and they pulled out the lease and demanded a month's rent to allow me to have an open house, I would just show the property under the terms of the lease... With 24 hours notice during reasonable hours. Showing it every single day, maybe twice a day to prospective buyers.  If the tenant refused showings more than a couple of times I would sue them using my $450 an hour attorney for breach of lease and lose of prospective sale of the property due to their refusal to show the property according to the lease terms. I'm pretty sure the lease calls for the winning party to receive their attorney fees paid by the losing party in a civil action so my attorney would be a happy camper.

    An unhappy tenant can make a sale almost impossible while still adhering perfectly to the terms of the lease. There is entitlement issue here, the tenant is in fact 'entitled' to live in peace in the property he is paying for.

    I would start by asking for a couple weeks plus early return of the security deposit (since the landlord will certainly be seeing the condition of the property during all those open houses.) If he balks or tries to show without permission, that is when the lousy housekeeping strategy comes into play. Also, just because the landlord can schedule showings per the lease does not mean that the tenant must vacate during said showings. Or be quiet. Or refrain from cooking curry.

    I would negotiate a quick return of security deposit and a bonus payment with a quick sale from your friends assistance with the sale. If your friend is having a birthday party for their child at the house on the Sunday they want an open house then stand your ground and let them know ahead of time. Make them easy to work with on both sides and the landlord should be happy to reward with a successful sale.

    @Linda Weygant
    I did miss that. I guess that's a little different. However, 3k to not live like a pig for a month or 2 seems high. Personally I'd offer my tenants a $150 gift card to a steak house and refuse anything else or cave and hire my CSI team. People should treat people fairly. 3k is not even close to fair.

    I'll throw in another comment since my above comment seems a bit harsh : )   I would suggest telling the agent/landlord that you will agree to an open house once a week say sundays or saturdays 12-4  if the agent and landlord agree to schedule all showing during that time and no other showings outside of the open house. That would allow the tenant much less inconvenience than having the property show multiple times each day by different agents. Would be a win/win for both sides.

    It is a pain in the *** to show a house with a tenant living there.  This is a very difficult process for all involved.  The tenants need to keep the house very clean and clutter free.  Agents usually have all sorts of requests and recommendations. 

    The tenant should be given something in exchange for all the intrusions.  This is a total loss of privacy and a large inconvenience.

    I would do something with an upfront fee and something after the house is sold if the tenant does what they agreed to.

    At least a month total.  Or, let the tenants out of the lease.

    Dealing with showings is an inconvenience and would drive me nuts. However, these are the things one signs up for when they choose to rent vs. own.

    $3,000 / 30 days = $100 per day.

    Landlord should offer rent reduction of $100 for each day that they are asked to "get out" of the residence for an open house/showing.

    If the tenant does not wish to cooperate then they should come to a mutual agreement to terminate the lease, whatever that may be.

    If the tenant digs in his heels then the landlord should delay the sale of the house until the lease expires and he can vacate the house in accordance with the law.

    Life is one big negotiation. So negotiate!


    Thanks all for the responses. Just to clarify, since there was some misunderstanding regarding the situation, the Landlord is looking to sell the house. Tenant is still under lease for next 3 months. Landlord is requesting above and beyond what courts would allow him for open house, other showings etc. which of course is a big inconvenience for the tenant,

    I would be floored if my tenant asked for a months rent. After my initial reproach, I would not budge on the rent and try to make other concessions; i.e. schedule the showing on a weekday while there at work, stager the showings so, it's all on the same day. Get one of my pals to take a ton of photos and upload them to dropbox. 

    If I had a contentious relationship with the tenant, I would only show the place after I was assured this is not just a "tire kicker". More like someone who has a strong offer that I'd be more inclined to accept

    Originally posted by @Josh C. :

    Linda Weygant
    I did miss that. I guess that's a little different. However, 3k to not live like a pig for a month or 2 seems high. Personally I'd offer my tenants a $150 gift card to a steak house and refuse anything else or cave and hire my CSI team. People should treat people fairly. 3k is not even close to fair.

     3k is much closer to fair, in my opinion, than open houses every weekend.  Which is intrusive and excessive.

    Not sure why the tenant would be worked up about all this.  The tenant has only a few months left on the lease...Being a landlord If I had push back from the tenant I would wait and give them a 60 day notice to vacate.  Sounds like in this situation there wasn't a good tenant/landlord relationship.


    Your "friend" wants 3 grand for the inconvenience of showings? Sounds like a "professional tenant". 

    Statues are there to set boundaries to live by. Not create a noose to get 3 Grand out of your landlord.

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