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Violated – What is the legal limit?

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Violated – What is the legal limit?

Postby MrRentHouse » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:28 am

I rent a home with my girlfriend in Ithaca, NY and recently my landlord has put our home on the market for sale. We are private people and have an indoor cat and I’m worried to have strangers have full access to my home without me being present. I have made an arrangement with my landlord that I will be present during each viewing to watch after the cat. I have been using my lunch break to be able to meet the real estate agents for these showings, but now they are attempting to schedule multiple showings per day. Considering I only have an hour for lunch making multiple showings per day is impossible. This is beginning to disrupt our personal and professional lives.

How many showings per week are reasonable and when does it become an invasion of privacy or a tenant violation? It seems unreasonable for my landlord to have multiple showings per day, potentially five days per week. I have been very accommodating, but now I feel I’m being pressured because I’m only a renter and not the owner. This is very disruptive to our life and considering I’m paying rent there must be some limit to how many showings are reasonable or a way to terminate our lease early.

Is this something you can help me with? If you’re not the correct person to help me with this issue can you please direct me to who can?
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Postby TenantNet » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:52 am

Can't speak for laws in Ithaca, but in general (at least in NYC), the LL has a right to limited access in a non-emergency. See the access rules in the forum's reference section, but understand these are for NYC.

The request must be in advance (minimum 24 hours) and in writing. It must state the reason for the access request (showing the house) and which areas of the apartment/house they will want to enter. You do not have to give access to all areas necessarily. (and I would change the locks if you suspect the LL will enter by themselves)

You have a right to negotiate reasonable times and frequency and you have a right to be present. So understand, the LL's request is just that ... a request, and you can counter-offer dates and times that are more suitable to you. It's a negotiation, but understand they do have a right to show the place.

It appears you are being entirely reasonable and they are seeking too much. You could also offer them weekend times, as long as they are specified. For example, you could allow them 9-12 AM Saturdays plus one lunchtime per week.

If you want information specific to Ithaca, you could contact a local attorney or local housing group (if any).

Also keep in mind, if and when the house is sold, the new owners might want you out. But they must respect the lease until it expires. If you stand up to the LL on this access issue, sure, it could impact a lease renewal, but that would be a decision of the new owners and might not matter anyway.
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Postby MrRentHouse » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:54 am

Thank you for the information. We will have to wait to see if they try to strong arm me.
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