Thursday, March 5, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Do I have to cooperate if my landlord wants to sell the house?

By
From page C2 | February 01, 2014 |

Q: I’m renting a house in Fairfield and the owner has just put it up for sale. My first question is whether the owner do that while I’m renting? Doesn’t he have to wait until my lease is over? The other question is whether I have to let strangers into the house to view it? I’m a single mother who lives here with the three kids. Not only is it inconvenient for somebody to call and say they’re coming over, but I don’t know who these people are and I have my kids to protect. On top of that, the landlord says he wants us out of the house while people are here seeing it. Surely I’m entitled to some peace and quiet in the home I’m spending $1,500 per month to rent, aren’t I?

A: Being a tenant in a home that’s for sale can be a pain. No doubt about it.

The law tries to balance the rights of the tenant to use and enjoy the property they’re renting against the needs of a property owner to deal with the property as he chooses.

The balance the law strikes doesn’t always seem fair.

Yes, a landlord can certainly sell his property, even with you living there under a lease.

The good news is that the lease doesn’t go away. The new owner has to buy the place with you in it. The buyer simply steps into the shoes of your current landlord. You have a right to the same terms and conditions as you had with the previous landlord, as well as the right to get your deposit back at the end of the lease.

The bad news is the inconvenience you suffer along the way.

No home seller likes the part of the process where people and their Realtors wander through the house like uninvited guests. It’s even worse as a tenant, since you’re not the one who decided to sell the home in the first place.

But a landlord has, in effect, the same right to enter your home for the purpose of showing it to perspective buyers as he does to inspect or to make repairs.

The law requires the landlord to give you “reasonable” notice of his intent to enter. The law presumes that 24 hours is “reasonable” notice. The notice must be in writing and state the day and time the landlord is going to enter and for what purpose.

Except in emergencies, landlords only have the right to enter, after the proper notice, during “business hours.” Business hours are usually considered to be from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., seven days per week.

When a rental house is on the market, the listing Realtor will alert all other Realtors in the Multiple Listing Service regarding how to give notice to you that they intend to come see the property.

Typically, Realtors will call you at least 24 hours in advance if you’ve given permission for the MLS to print your telephone number, which you don’t have to do.

However, it can be more convenient than holding the landlords’ feet to the fire and requiring 24-hour written notice. Otherwise, you may find Realtors constantly on your doorstep to hand you the required written notice.

Now, your question about the landlord’s request that you and your kids leave the home during a showing is interesting.

It’s likely the landlord was told by his Realtor that houses show better without the seller, or by extension their tenant, being at the house. And that’s true. Prospective buyers will feel freer to stay in the house longer and to speak more candidly with their Realtor if you aren’t there.

But there’s nothing in the law that requires you to leave or that gives the landlord the authority to order you to do so.

So you have a couple of choices.

You could stand on your rights and simply refuse to leave during a showing. And that’s fine.

Or, you could barter with your landlord.

For example, you could promise to straighten the place up and leave during a showing if he cuts the rent in half from now until the house closes escrow.

The landlord would benefit by giving buyers a longer, more relaxing look at the property, and the cash you save would help offset your inconvenience.

Smart landlords don’t generally want disgruntled tenants in their properties when they’re trying to sell them.

Deliberately making it difficult for the landlord to show and sell the property could get a tenant evicted. But remember, the tenant is going to be inherited by the new buyer. So a cooperative tenant can help maximize the sales speed, and the ultimate price, of the property.

Tim Jones is a real estate attorney in Fairfield. If you have any real estate questions you would like to have answered in this column you can contact him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Skeptic ScroogeFebruary 01, 2014 - 9:49 am

    Inspect or make repairs doesnt mean let random ppl inside, it means inspect or make repairs.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • YoshidaFebruary 01, 2014 - 11:03 am

    Tenant does not have to cooperate with the sale of the property and it would be extremely foolish of the landlord to try and force cooperation. Landlord's best bet is to offer compensation to the tenant as the article states and assure the tenant the new owner will assume the terms of the current lease.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensFebruary 01, 2014 - 7:04 pm

    Jones doesn't reply to emails.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Show resilience in the face of adversity

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Students sample industry choices during school career fair

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Real McCoy II Ferry set for maintenance

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police slate annual awards ceremony

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Limited damage to apartment from carport fire

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Red Carpet Gala to benefit theater foundation

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Pet remembrance event set in Vallejo

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Friday concert benefits Families Helping Families

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Vallejo police arrest 4 in connection with 3 killings

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
National Red Cross Month celebrates heroes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello schedules citrus class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Jury convicts ex-con who served as own lawyer

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

 
Suisun City police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Justices sharply divided over health care law subsidies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
 
California lawmaker pushes child care worker vaccinations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Children in Southern California breathing easier, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Failures by 3 governments preceded homeless man’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Second Los Angeles hospital reports ‘superbug’ infections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

A defiant Alabama regains ground against gay marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
How much sugar is in that? 7 foods with added sugar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Obama signs Homeland Security funding bill into law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

House panel issues subpoena for Clinton’s personal emails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Microsoft co-founder says he found sunken Japan WWII warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Coal mine blast kills at least 24 in war-torn east Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Living

Today in History: March 5, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 5, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 5, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I can’t tell if I still want to be married, or just don’t want to be alone

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

DiCaprio partners with Netflix for series of documentaries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ tops MTV Movie Awards nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Glen Campbell children fighting wife’s control of affairs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

 
Posey has 2-run double in Giants’ 9-2 loss to A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Local report: Vanden softball slips by Rodriguez with late run

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Curry shoots Warriors to 102-93 victory over Bucks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NFL stadium supporters in LA suburb file ballot paperwork

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Alex Johnson, AL batting champ in 1970, dies at age 72

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodell: NFL responsible for Super Bowl seating problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Former player Nate Jackson calls for NFL to allow marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Phoenix to install tire barriers before NASCAR visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pirelli sticks with same tire choices for first 4 F1 races

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: Peyton Manning returning for 18th NFL season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NCAA reports big jump in home runs with new flat-seam ball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
MLS, players agree in principle to 5-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prosecutors can’t bring up Florida shooting in ex-NFLer case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vikings agree to trade Cassel to Bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Scott opens a season of change at Doral

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
‘It WAS him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

With Peterson’s status in question, Vikings pay a visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Thelma A. Roche

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Cesar Luis Garcia-Regalado

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Rodolfo Landabora Porquez

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Aaron D. Malave

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9