Q: As a condo renter, do we have any recourse if the condo is for sale and the landlord wants to show it on any given day, at all hours? Can we request a reduction in our rent? Do we have any rights?
A: When you rent, you agree to allow your landlord access to the property as needed, both to inspect and maintain it and also to show the unit to prospective buyers and lenders. This access is taken into account when negotiating the cost of your rent payments, so you are not entitled to a reduction.
Generally speaking, your landlord must give you reasonable notice of the visits, a minimum of 12 hours in advance, and can show the property only during reasonable hours, such as between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Your landlord can't show it without your permission. This means that if you are at work or church or even on vacation, he or she will need to work around your schedule. But you do need to cooperate and not unreasonably withhold your consent.
Even though your landlord may be selling the property, your lease must still be honored by the new owner. So one of these potential buyers may become your new landlord.
I have had many clients who are landlords, and I've always recommended that they not try to bully tenants because an uncooperative and unhappy tenant can easily sour potential buyers, making it much harder to sell the unit.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program. Send him questions online at http://sunsent.nl/mR20t7 or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.
The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
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