My Landlord Wants to Show My Home Before I Move Out


My Landlord Wants to Show My Home Before I Move Out

Why Would I Want Anyone Showing the House I’m Living In?

So, your lease is ending and with your target date to move out approaching in less than 30 days, your landlord is telling you they want to show your home to potential new tenants. When you tell them you’re too busy to accommodate any showings and you don’t want anyone in your home when you’re not there, they tell you they have the legal right to enter and show your home — no matter what you say! You’re thinking what’s up with this? What happened to your legal rights for the peaceful enjoyment of your home?

Well, in Michigan, a tenant is legally required to cooperate with their landlord’s reasonable request(s) to enter their home. Most leases also contain a clause that allows landlords to show the rental home during the last XX days of the lease. So, not cooperating may be a violation of the terms of your lease and the law. Your landlord may legally be able to just give you a reasonable 24-hour notice and still enter.

What’s up with all this? Well, let’s take a minute and look at this from the landlord’s perspective for better understanding.

Landlords invested in a rental home for one simple reason – to make money. Landlords only get money when a rental home is occupied by a paying tenant, which is never going to happen when the home is vacant! So, landlords want to minimize the amount of time a rental home is vacant. In a landlord’s perfect world, a new tenant moves in the day after you move out. The only way to get this to happen is to show the home to prospective new tenants while you’ve still in it. This is precisely why they usually put a clause in their leases that gives them the legal right to show the home the last XX days of a lease. Think of it in another way, while most tourists rent hotel rooms based solely on internet pictures or less, would you rent a home you never walked through?

So, now that you heard the reason your landlord wants to show your home while you’re still living in it, hopefully, you can work something out with your landlord that works for both of you.

How About a “Nuclear” Deterrent?

Even though the law is on the side of the landlord when it comes to showing your home, of course you can scheme all sorts of nasty ways to sabotage their showing efforts and get even with them:

Negative Feedback: you could tell everyone potential tenant your landlord brings through your home every negative thing about the home and the landlord you can think of. Surely, after one or two times of this, your landlord will get the message and stop the showings! More likely, you’ll be served with an eviction notice, and even though you’re moving anyways, do you want this as a legal record against you?

A Terrible 1st Impression: you could also stop cleaning, let dishes pile up in the sink, garbage pails overflow, etc., so the home looks as unappealing a place to call home as possible. Well, this may be a violation of the terms of your lease and again result in an unpleasant eviction notice.

Dog on the Premises: while this sounds like a sure-fire way to thwart any potential showings, your landlord may be within their legal rights to contact the local animal control and have your dog removed. Then you’d have to spend money bailing out your pooch from the pound.

There are many more ways to screw with your landlord to avoid showings, but hopefully, you get the general idea that pursuing this course of action may lead to your landlord one-upping you, with legal consequences for you. Also, since not cooperating with showings may lead to loss of income for your landlord, they may be entitled to legally charge something against your security deposit.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Most people are actually reasonable most of the time. So, the best way to deal with this whole showing situation is to contact your landlord and work out something that works for both of you.

We highly recommend working out a standard weekly schedule, so your landlord knows the timeslots they can schedule potential showings and you’ve got a general idea of when these showings are likely to occur. Don’t forget to take into consideration that potential tenants work all different kinds of hours, so timeslots in the morning, afternoon, evening (but before 9pm) and weekend should be agreed to. Both parties should also agree on at least a 24-hour confirmation that a showing will happen on one of these agreed upon timeslots, so you aren’t putting your life on hold and no one shows up. Just understand that unfortunately, a decent percentage of prospective tenants fail to cancel and stand everyone up – wasting you and your landlord’s time.

Since interrupting your life for these showings is a pain, consider asking your landlord for a reasonable “perk” in exchange for your cooperation. Maybe they’ll agree to return your security deposit in less time than the 30 days Michigan law allows or reward you with a small gift card? To get an additional incentive out of your landlord (by saving them time), you could even volunteer to do the showings yourself!  Just don’t be greedy, so try to keep it a win-win for both of you.

12 thoughts on “My Landlord Wants to Show My Home Before I Move Out

  1. While a tenant is paying for rent, the house is the tenant’s home and having strangers view the house while the tenant is paying for the property is simply intrusive. How would anyone like to go to the restaurant, pay the full bill but receive only a portion of the ordered meal, because the restaurant owner decided that getting a portion of a paid customer’s meal make a better sense financially?

    1. Not really understanding your analogy, but we get your point.

      If you don’t want to have strangers viewing your home during the last 30 days of your lease, then we suggest you negotiate what you want BEFORE you sign your lease.

      A lease is a contract and both parties can enforce what was agreed to in that contract. If you’ve already signed a lease contract with the landlord’s right to show your home, then we suggest offering something to your landlord to entice them to void that part of the contract.

  2. Can a potential new tenant knock on the door and ask old tenants questions before they move out about the property and the area without violating the tenant or landlord rights.

  3. Landlords Father said he’s throwing me on the street ..My rent is paid,always….Said he wants $750.00,Sept.1,then Oct.1,pay $900.00..I can stay..I’m 67,on disability/Social Security.J get $814.00 a month and pay lights and gas..I rent an efficiency for $550.00..Said he’s going to take my belongings and throw them away…I called the police yesterday for threatening to throw me out..

  4. This is nonsense. There is no statute on this in Michigan. The landlord cannot enter without permission, just like you can’t enter anyone else’s house without permission. A standard lease in Michigan will contain a 24-hour notice provision to allow the landlord entry, because absent that, the tenant could bar them for no reason at all, absent an emergency. Most leases do not contain a “showing” provision. Even with a showing provision, absent specific particularity, the tenant can deny access if their denial is reasonable, as the term will be construed against the landlord. And since it would be redundant, most just stick to the 24-hour provision. Whoever wrote this is probably a landlord and just made this stuff up out of thin air. And probably violates his tenants’ rights constantly. Whoever is desperately showing occupied places to potential new tenants isn’t showing off very nice places and isn’t in much danger of getting sued by the people paying $400 month.

    1. The article states that a 24-hour notice is typically required, even though Michigan law only states “reasonable” notice is required.

      So, a lease doesn’t have to include something that is already state law.

      Most leases we’ve seen DO contain a provision that allows a landlord to show their property during the last 30 days of a lease.

      Otherwise, you are welcome to your opinion and can do whatever you want when you become a landlord.

      1. Tenant’s right to privacy is sufficient to make any non-emergency request to enter unreasonable. Landlord’s financial interest is not an emergency.

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