Do I have to allow my landlord to do a multi-family viewing in my rental property prior to moving out?

I have 30 days left on my rental agreement and my landlord has scheduled an “open house” style viewing with 4-5 families prior to my family moving out. We do not feel comfortable having that many people in our home with our children and personal belongings.

Asked on February 19, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do: the law gives the landlord the right to show his or her property (and remember--while you live there, the landlord owns it) a reasonable number of times, at reasonable times of day, on reasonable notice, for purposes of selling or renting it.
A single open house for a period of an hour on prior notice is *very* reasonable--there is no doubt but that the landlord can do this. If anything is damaged or stolen during the viewing, you could sue the landlord for the value, and are not obligated to pay for any damage or cleaning to the unit required by the open house. You are advised to remove and lock up all valuables and to take lots of pictures the day before showing the condition of the home and any of your furniture prior to the showing, so as to document its pre-showing state in case you need to prove that damage was done by the showing.


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