Rent Coach

Rent Coach: Do I have to let my landlord show my apartment?

By Mike Akerly  | January 17, 2013 - 2:22PM

Q. My lease ends next month and my landlord says he's going to start showing the apartment to prospective renters.

This makes me very uncomfortable because I don’t want my landlord or people I don’t even know coming into my home, especially if I'm not there.

Do I have to let my landlord show my apartment to prospective renters before my lease expires?  If so, can I insist that showings only happen when my schedule permits me to be there?  

A. A landlord generally has the right to enter your apartment for the purpose of showing it to prospective renters near the expiration of your lease.

There is often a provision in leases that would lay out the terms on which this can be done. For example, it may restrict showings to business hours, it may require that twenty-four hours notice be given to the tenant, or it may even require that the tenant make the apartment available for open houses in addition to private showings. 

In the absence of any provision in the lease that lays out the ground rules for showings, your landlord would be able to enter with reasonable notice (a standard which would probably be satisfied by a call or note 24 hours in advance of the showing). 

You should reach out to your landlord and request that all showings be done at times that are convenient for you to be there. In exchange, you can offer to ensure that the apartment is in neat and tidy condition and that you would be happy to share any positive experiences that you may have had in the building.  

However, be aware that absent a lease provision obligating the landlord to accommodate your schedule, he generally would not be required to do so. Thus, this is one of the many situations in which you will likely get more with honey than vinegar.


Mike Akerly is a New York City real estate attorney, landlord, and real estate broker. He is also the publisher of the Greenwich Village blog VillageConfidential.     


Note: The information provided here is for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and cannot substitute for the advice of a licensed professional applying their specialized knowledge to the particular circumstances of your case.

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