Saturday, October 25, 2014
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 SolanoScene@TJones-Law.com.

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

 
 
Cut-a-thon to help fight cancer, abuse

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fall Harvest Festival brings children back to school

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Optimist Club brings youth together for Halloween golf

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

School board candidates forum set next week

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Staying active may prolong your life

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B8

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

.

US / World

Suspect arrested in death of 2 California deputies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
KC-10 from Travis lands in Houston, smoke in cockpit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

Reagan astrologer, Joan Quigley, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Jury says castrated sex offender should be freed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

School gunman was Homecoming prince, students say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii’s Big Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Remains belong to missing Virginia student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Dallas nurse receives thanks, hug from Obama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 14 Comments

NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Gunman in Canada attack complained about mosque

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Egypt declares emergency in northern Sinai

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Militant group said to be using chlorine bombs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Putin accuses US of undermining global stability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

Return Garamendi to Congress

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 27 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

SEIU shouldn’t own Board of Supervisors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
Vote, and make a difference

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Yes on Measure A

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Spering best choice for county supervisor

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My mother-in-law wants me to convert to Catholicism, but I don’t want to

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Hello Kitty turning 40, and the birthday bash will be ‘supercute’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

TLC cancels its ‘Honey Boo Boo’ series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9, 1 Comment

 
P.D. James’ riff on Jane Austen comes to TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Vintage rolls past Armijo, 55-8

By Mike Corpos | From Page: B1

 
Mustangs fall flat in rout by Wildcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1, 4 Comments

Royals beat Giants 3-2 for 2-1 World Series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vargas to take on Vogelsong in Game 4 of Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Falcons hang with Wolves in 34-8 setback

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Hamilton helps Vanden sink Vallejo, 35-0

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

Unfazed, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doing it his way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lloyd leads US women past Mexico 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders’ Woodley, Young expected to be placed on IR

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Henley’s putting gets him lead at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge halts New Jersey’s sports betting plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Maddon exercises opt-out, won’t return to Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jamie McMurray bests Chase drivers to win pole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Attorney: NFL, Ravens not helping union in Rice probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

SCC women’s soccer team falls to Mendocino 3-1

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

US official: Auto safety agency under review

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford profit falls in third quarter on truck costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble taking out its batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UPS expects double-digit surge in Dec shipments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US new-home sales close to flat in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 10/25/14

Real estate transactions for Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2