Can a Landlord Show an Apartment While I Still Live There?

The landlord has the rights to show an apartment while you live there, but you must be informed in advance. The frequency must also be discussed with the landlord if not covered by the lease. Usually, such information is part of a lease agreement, which is why it is very important to read everything in your lease before signing it. It is also important to understand your rights.

  1. Landlord Notice

    • You're entitled to your privacy as a tenant. Many landlords know it is against the law to come to show an apartment while you live there without informing you in advance. A tenant is supposed to be given notice before the landlord can enter the unit with prospective tenants. In many states, the landlord is supposed to give at least 24 hours notice. The notice doesn't have to be in writing. The estate manager can notify you through a telephone call, or a note under the door.

    Period of Showing

    • The period when the landlord is supposed to start showing the apartment also depends on the state law, but at least 60 days before you move out is generally considered reasonable. Unless agreed, the landlord can only come during daytime, typically from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There may be local stipulations the landlord has to follow in the month you're moving out, depending on the laws in your area.

    Holdover Tenants

    • A holdover tenant has a month-to-month arrangement with the the landlord. Usually, you become a holdover tenant by default. When your lease expires, the landlord can extend a month-to-month arrangement to you if you're not ready to move. However, the landlord is allowed to show such an apartment to prospective tenants even for several months until a long term tenant is found. Even with this kind of arrangement, you must be be given notice before the showing is scheduled. When it becomes too inconveniencing, you can try to address your concerns with the landlord.

    The Penalty for Forced Entry

    • Laws vary from state to state, but unlawful entry could be costly to the landlord. You have the right to recourse if the landlord makes repeated unreasonable demands for entry into your unit, especially if it culminates in harassment. The tenant can seek a court order to prevent the recurrent conduct, or terminate the lease. Additionally, you may claim one month rent or twice the damage you sustain, whichever is greater. Conversely, the landlord has the right to seek a court order and evict you if you're preventing him from showing the apartment.

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