Can my landlord ask me to stag my condo so she can show it since I’m moving out?

I have paid my rent in full until the end of the month. Here is what she is asking me: 1. De-clutter. Every counter top in the kitchen and bathrooms is covered; please move these items into a cabinet or a drawer so that visitors can see the counter tops. Remove step stools and tubs that visitors may stumble over. 2. Personal items. Please remove your bra and personal clothing items from the view of visitors. For the next couple of weeks, put them in a drawer or in the closet. 3. The Dining Room, move the bike.

Asked on October 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Can your landlord "ask" you to do this? Sure--anyone can ask anyone else to do anything not itself illegal.

Can she force you to do this? No. As long as you as you have not violated your lease and lost possession, and until the end of your tenancy, you, not the landlord, have possesion of the space. You are not required to do anything to or in that is not part of the lease agreement between you and the landlord. So unless your lease included some term or condition requiring you to help stage the unit, you don't have to do this.

The proper way for the landlord to get your help in marketing and staging the premises is to offer you something for your trouble--some money back from the last month's rent, help with packing, a nice bottle of wine, dinner out somewhere, etc. She can't force you to do this, but she could try to make it worth your while.


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