How Often Can A Landlord Show The House When A Tenant Is Still Living In It?

Common Rights Of A Tenant When A Property Is On Sale

Last Updated on August 3, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

The frequency of a landlord showing the house while a tenant still lives in it varies by local laws and the lease agreement. Generally, it’s reasonable to give 24-48 hours’ notice, and showings are limited to a few times per week to respect the tenant’s privacy.

How Often Can A Landlord Show The House When A Tenant Is Still Living In It?

When a landlord decides to put their property up for rent or sale, it’s essential to showcase the home to potential tenants or buyers. However, this can sometimes pose challenges when the current tenant is still residing in the property. Balancing the landlord’s need to show the house with the tenant’s right to privacy can lead to confusion. In this listicle, we will explore the guidelines and common practices regarding how often a landlord can show a house while a tenant is still living in it.

  1. Understand the Lease Agreement:
    The first step is to review the lease agreement thoroughly. The lease might include specific clauses about showings, outlining the frequency and advanced notice required from the landlord. Both parties must abide by the terms agreed upon in the contract.
  2. Give Ample Notice:
    Regardless of the lease agreement, it is common courtesy for landlords to provide advanced notice before showing the property. Generally, providing at least 24 to 48 hours’ notice is considered fair. This allows the tenant to prepare the house and make necessary arrangements.
  3. Respect Quiet Enjoyment:
    Tenants have the right to enjoy their homes in peace and privacy. While a landlord does have the right to show the property, they must respect the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. It is advisable to schedule showings during reasonable hours to minimize disruption and inconvenience for the tenant.
  4. Reasonable Frequency:
    The frequency of showings should be reasonable and balanced. Multiple showings every week can be intrusive, whereas limited or sporadic showings may not be effective in finding new tenants or buyers. A general guideline is to limit showings to a few times a week, depending on market demand and the tenant’s availability.
  5. Coordinate with the Tenant:
    To avoid conflicts, open communication between landlords and tenants is crucial. Discussing and coordinating the showing schedule with the tenant can help find a mutually agreeable arrangement. This way, both parties can negotiate a suitable timeframe for showings that minimizes disruption and respects the tenant’s privacy.
  6. Special Circumstances:
    In some cases, there may be exceptions to the general rules. If the tenant is on vacation, it might be an opportune time to schedule more frequent showings. Additionally, in situations where the tenant provides consent, the frequency of showings can be increased. Consent could be given when the tenant is motivated to move out or is actively involved in selling the property.
  7. Document Everything:
    To maintain transparency and avoid misunderstandings, it is important for both landlords and tenants to keep a record of all communication regarding showings. Written correspondence, such as emails or letters, should outline dates, times, and any changes made to the schedule. This documentation can be valuable in case of disputes or legal issues.

Finding a balance between a landlord’s need to showcase a property and a tenant’s right to privacy is a delicate process. Both parties must respect each other’s rights and collaborate on a reasonable schedule. By adhering to the lease agreement, giving ample notice, and maintaining open communication, landlords and tenants can navigate this process smoothly and professionally.

What Are The Most Common Rights Of A Tenant When A Property Is On Sale?

The rights of tenants and landlords differ from state to state. Some basic rights are common in almost all states. Especially when the sale of property that is on lease is involved. The following are some of the rights tenants have when their leased property is on sale:

Right To Notice Before Showings

 Landlords must give their tenants a heads up for an upcoming showing. Most laws indicate that they should provide a 24-48 hour notice to the tenants. With this notice, they can plan their schedule to be available during showtime. They also get time to do cleaning and tidying up from incoming visitors. This also applies to any other visits associated with the sale, such as; house inspection and appraisal, scheduled maintenance, and repair, and any other visits. 

Landlords are also expected to be mindful of visiting hours despite the notice. Showing hours must be reasonable. To achieve this, both parties should agree on days and time that is convenient for each of them.

Right To Receive A Vacating Notice

 Most states dictate that a notice to vacate by the landlord should be at least 30-60 days. In California, for instance, the notice should be given in not less than 60 days. Providing a notice earlier helps tenants to prepare themselves mentally and also find themselves a new place. They can also make plans to move their things without haste.

Right To A Relocation Fee

A relocation fee is given to tenants who have leased a house for more than a month. It does not apply to month-to-month tenants. In some states, such as Seattle, it applies only to low-income earners. In case a tenant qualifies for a relocation fee, the landlord is required to pay all the assistance. In some states, the landlord only pays half of the relocation fee.

Right To A Lease Termination Payout

Sometimes landlords may want their premises vacated earlier than anticipated by the tenants. In this case, their only option is offering money to the tenant as it is the easiest way to vacate from their stipulated time of lease. A termination fee is meant to console tenants for any inconvenience caused.

Right To Occupy The Property After Changing Ownership

It is said that a tenant’s agreement is tied to a property and not its owner. Tenants’ rights being superior to those of property, they can still occupy the house even after changing ownership. It is only applicable if the property is sold while still occupying the premises. The new owner has to honor and respect the tenant’s lease period. A recognized lease is one between landlord and tenant.

Right To Occupy The Property During Showings

Tenants are not obligated to either clean or vacate premises during showings. They are not legally supposed to keep their rented space to the seller’s standards as it is likely to create tension between them. To prevent this, landlords should offer cleaning services to the premises for free. In case the tenants are not required during showings, offering them an optional home or a cup of coffee at a coffee shop would do.

There are other rights, such as a right of first refusal where the tenant prevents the landlord from selling their premises. Violation of these rights comes with consequences since selling an occupied premise is different from selling one that is unoccupied.

Tips To Landlords When Selling An Occupied Property Without Hurting Their Tenants

Sellers opt to be careful when selling occupied tenants to avoid contradiction with tenants. In most cases, tenants will decide how easy or difficult it will be to sell occupied premises. The following are some tips on how to carry out a sale of premises without hurting the existing tenants:

Ensure that showing times are tenant-friendly and easy for them. The selling agent should issue a 24-hour notice with considerable visiting hours in line with the tenants’ schedule. One can make special requests to the tenants and, upon agreement, view the premises. If not, one should abide by the agreement on the notice.

Sellers should nicely ask the tenants to leave the premises during showings. This can be done by offering them an alternative place to be, for example, buying them coffee at a nearby coffee shop. Some buyers prefer viewing freely without being followed around by the tenants. The tenants are also likely to feel uneasy with some prospective owners of their homes. It may also be because of the impending move making them experience some tension.

Landlords could help their tenants in finding a new residence. They can do this by alerting them of any appropriate openings. They can also make suggestions on local listings of available residences. By doing so, a feeling of concern is felt. This makes the tenants feel loved and not feel like they are being disposed of of a property.

In cases where tenants are having difficulty in paying rent, landlords could consider forgiving them. One could also consider court action and eviction since it’s more lenient. They should act humanely towards the tenant. The reason is, unhappy tenants are likely to inhibit the sale of a property. They can achieve this by preventing showings or refusing to clean the property, making it undesirable.

 It is important to ensure that existing tenants are happy. Some tenants can create or break a sale. It is highly dependent on the attitude of the landlords. It is also important to involve them in the sale. A tenant may even be a potential buyer; hence, before putting up the house for sale, one should consider asking them

Pros And Cons Of Selling A Rented Property

Some Of The Advantages Include:

 It ensures landlords of continuous income. Landlords can receive payments from rent during the sale process, unlike selling a vacant house. Money collected during the sale process is good to keep the landlord in a red line. On the other hand, a vacant house will require maintenance and upkeep. These are expenditures to the landlord as opposed to incoming cash from tenants.

Landlords are sure of security when their property is occupied, unlike vacant houses. There are fewer risks involved compared to selling an unoccupied house. Some calamities such as leaking and vandalism are unlikely to happen to a rented house with tenants. This assures landlords of less expenditure for repair once the property is bought.

 Landlords can time the end of the lease date with a buyer’s acquisition date. They can achieve this by providing a vacating notice with timely dates. There will be no jeopardy associated with a vacant house. The tenant will also have vacated by the time the new owner acquires the property. In the end, both parties will have met the end of their bargain without bleaching of contracts

Some Of The Disadvantages Of Selling A Rented House Include:

 Renovations are likely to take more time and are more expensive because scheduling for maintenance and repair with the tenants will be difficult. For example, repainting and re-flooring can only be done when the premises are vacated. This creates delays in viewing and marketing the property. Other major maintenance projects will also be delayed causing a general delay in selling the property.

 It is difficult to schedule showings. Despite the house being on sale, tenants’ rights have to be honored, making it difficult for showings. The number of times showings are done is less compared to those of vacant houses. Sometimes the tenants may be unavailable, leading to canceling of house viewing to potential buyers.

 A rented house attracts only a small pool of buyers. This is because most instant buyers are eliminated since some are unwilling to wait for the end of a lease period which limits the seller to primary investors who are after aggressive deals. Some home buyers prefer to be first-time owners. Selling a rented house eliminates this group of people.

Additionally, some tenants may not want to move, making it difficult for landlords to get buyers. They can achieve this by refusing to clean and maintaining the property, making the house undesirable. Such conditions make many potential buyers look away from the deal.


A landlord can show a rented house depending on the laws of the state. Housing laws involving tenants and landlords are different from state to state. However, some laws are similar in almost all states. For example, in most states, the landlord has to give 24-48 hours showing notice to tenants. Showings can only be done at reasonable hours, meaning that landlords agree with tenants on time to carry it out. Tenants have some laws protecting them from landlords intending to sell their houses while still on the lease.