Author Topic: Rental showings of occupied unit  (Read 1030 times)

SmokeySnow

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Rental showings of occupied unit
« on: June 09, 2018, 01:55:23 PM »
I am in a landlord in California and have a tenant that just gave their 30 day notice. How should I navigate showing the apartment while she is still in place? Besides a 24 hour notice, any legalities I should be aware of? Would you recommend setting up one day with a block of time for all interested applicants? thanks for any advice!

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 09:13:00 PM »
Your idea of doing a 'block of showings' is a good one. It sounds like you're trying to think outside the box.
Do you have a website where you can post 360-degree "virtual tour" photos? 

There are lots of "virtual tour cameras" available for cheap on places like Amazon where you can go in, take photos of the property when it's in the best "cleaned-up" condition, and share those on-line.   While this won't replace in-person showings, it could complement them, and pre-screen the property for interested potential tenants.  If you don't end up renting until after the current tenant moves out, you could follow up with an 'empty unit' virtual tour', and allow renters to see it both WITH and WITHOUT furniture for scale.

MaikoTsumi

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 09:31:09 AM »
I have it in my lease that the tenant will maintain the rental in a show quality condition and the tenant will make the house available for showings.  What I usually do is, tell the tenant that I want to reserve the time from 2-4pm on Sundays for showings.  I don't make it an open house, but schedule appointments during that time.  That makes it convenient and mitigates stress situations were I call constantly to schedule.

Cwadda

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 09:18:55 AM »
Be transparent with the tenant and respectful of their time. Ask what works for them and explain your intentions (which are very reasonable). Blocked showings works well if it fits in everyone's schedule.

therethere

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 09:34:24 AM »
I have it in my lease that the tenant will maintain the rental in a show quality condition and the tenant will make the house available for showings.  What I usually do is, tell the tenant that I want to reserve the time from 2-4pm on Sundays for showings.  I don't make it an open house, but schedule appointments during that time.  That makes it convenient and mitigates stress situations were I call constantly to schedule.

Wow. I would be upset if my landlord wrote this into my lease. I'd actually cross it out if it was proposed. I'm curious what timing specifics you have regarding this phrasing? All the time? Only within the last 30-days of the lease? Only after giving notice?

MaikoTsumi

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 01:27:09 PM »
I have it in my lease that the tenant will maintain the rental in a show quality condition and the tenant will make the house available for showings.  What I usually do is, tell the tenant that I want to reserve the time from 2-4pm on Sundays for showings.  I don't make it an open house, but schedule appointments during that time.  That makes it convenient and mitigates stress situations were I call constantly to schedule.

Wow. I would be upset if my landlord wrote this into my lease. I'd actually cross it out if it was proposed. I'm curious what timing specifics you have regarding this phrasing? All the time? Only within the last 30-days of the lease? Only after giving notice?

Proposed?  It's not a negotiation. If they want to walk and leave the holding fee, I guess I can't stop them. It's never been an issue. 

therethere

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 02:15:09 PM »
You didn't answer my actual question though. I'm want to know if there is any timing specified in the clause (time based or event/showing based)? I'm curious to what exactly the clause says.

I'm asking because I've been the victim of a landlord shortselling mid-lease. My landlord would demand I clean the place to showroom ready condition for 11/12 months of the lease. She would harass us and call us filthy among other things for not keeping it spotless. In my opinion we were well within our rights under the "quiet enjoyment" guaranteed by a lease. Keeping something showroom ready is not in-line with quiet enjoyment.

I agree with you that renters have the right to walk away when poor lease clauses are demanded. Personally, if I saw that lease clause I'd be out of there in a second. Big red flag. It screams overbearing landlord or landlord preparing to sell. Maybe I'd sign it under the premise that it is likely unenforceable if I was desperate. What exactly is "show quality condition" anyway? It's a term without exact meaning. Show quality of an apartment for re-rent is very different than show quality condition for a home sale. Without a discrete definition I don't believe it would be enforceable and how would you enforce it anyway other than nagging?

And yes it is still "proposed" until it is signed. I've definitely marked up leases and handed them in without anyone batting an eye. You are one of the small minority of landlords that actually knows what their lease says. In my 15 years of renting I've seen some interesting clauses thrown in that a lot of times no one knew was there.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 02:17:25 PM by therethere »

Dicey

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2018, 08:21:56 AM »
How about a carrot approach? Buy a handful of $5 or $10 Starbucks* gift cards and leave one behind every time you show the place. They even have card styles that say "Thanks". I'm not a CPA, but I'd bet it could be a deductible expense.

*Or similar gift card. S/B is pretty portable and/or easy to regift.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 11:50:23 AM by Dicey »

robartsd

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2018, 09:54:01 AM »
I have it in my lease that the tenant will maintain the rental in a show quality condition and the tenant will make the house available for showings.  What I usually do is, tell the tenant that I want to reserve the time from 2-4pm on Sundays for showings.  I don't make it an open house, but schedule appointments during that time.  That makes it convenient and mitigates stress situations were I call constantly to schedule.

Wow. I would be upset if my landlord wrote this into my lease. I'd actually cross it out if it was proposed. I'm curious what timing specifics you have regarding this phrasing? All the time? Only within the last 30-days of the lease? Only after giving notice?

Proposed?  It's not a negotiation. If they want to walk and leave the holding fee, I guess I can't stop them. It's never been an issue.
Of course if they failed to perform on this point of the lease, there's really nothing you can do about it either.

I agree with @therethere that this clause should have some limits attached. Your normal practice of scheduling appointments within a 2 hour block on a Sunday afternoon sounds very reasonable. If a single 2 hour block of time usually works for you I'd suggest requiring up to two 3 hour blocks of time scheduled at least x days in advance between when the tenant gives notice and the termination of their lease. You could also provide guidelines about what times are acceptable (like between 10 am and 6 pm on weekends) but also add a clause that allows the two of you to arrange another mutually agreeable time.

MaikoTsumi

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2018, 10:58:42 AM »

Of course if they failed to perform on this point of the lease, there's really nothing you can do about it either.

I agree with @therethere that this clause should have some limits attached. Your normal practice of scheduling appointments within a 2 hour block on a Sunday afternoon sounds very reasonable. If a single 2 hour block of time usually works for you I'd suggest requiring up to two 3 hour blocks of time scheduled at least x days in advance between when the tenant gives notice and the termination of their lease. You could also provide guidelines about what times are acceptable (like between 10 am and 6 pm on weekends) but also add a clause that allows the two of you to arrange another mutually agreeable time.

It's in there as kind of a pointer when the time comes.  Any landlord who shows a rental in an adversarial situation where you had to force the showing would be a fool. I've had a 100% track record with great tenants who are more than happy to make everything nice when showing. I've even had a tenant volunteer to show the house for me.

teecup

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Re: Rental showings of occupied unit
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2018, 11:00:39 AM »
Block time combined with Dicey's gc suggestion sounds like a good idea to me. Just don't make it an open house and limit it to couple people at a time.

I had a landlord who did that 2 weeks before we moved out and demanded the apt to be neat and tidy. Mind you we were trying to move and our stuff were literally all over the floor!

There were almost 20 people showed up and the landlord were outside most of the time busy talking with some people while other strangers roamed around our place.
One hour in, I realized the $2000 cash laying on the stationary cup on my bedroom desk. My point is, people are trying to move, stuff will mostly be unorganized with valuables in easy places to grab. Try to be considerate (which I can see you already are by trying to find the right thing to do).

Also, if your relationship with tenant is less than perfect, might not be a good idea to let the potential tenant meet the current one. Some people asked me how it was staying there (the old apt), I really wanted to tell them there was a reason why we moved but I figured it wasn't worth my time (landlord stop fixing things, loud after hour, charging cleaning fee eventhough we would clean it up and no damage).