If we have a pre-paid 1 year lease, can ourlandlordshowour rentalin the 8th month?

We are leasing a home that had been for sale for a very long time. We decided to pre-pay the year in advance (with an option for a second year). We asked the realtor about showing the home later and he told us that under LA law,since we prepaid the the seller could not show it. Now, it’s 7.5 months into our pre-paid year. The realtor called tonight and said that they had someone scheduled to see the house tomorrow. We refused and it’s re-scheduled for Wednesday. Do we have to show the home? We have 3 children and I work out of my home. This is a horrible inconvenience.

Asked on March 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As  a general matter, prepaying a lease has no affect on the property owner's right to show the apartment to prospective buyers or not. Regardless of whether the rent is paid upfront in advance, just barely in time--or even late--the owner of property has a right to show it to buyers upon reasonable notice (usually at least 24 hours) to the tenants.

If the *seller* had agreed that in exchange for your prepaying the rent, he would not show the home, that would be an enforceable agreement. However, if it was only the realtor who said that, it may not be enforceable--the realtor might not be able to bind the seller to the agreement if the seller didn't even have knowledge of what the realtor said. Only if the realtor was passing along a deal with the knowledge and consnet of the seller, would the seller be bound. Otherwise, it's possible, if you suffer monetary loss somehow, you could then sue the realtor for the representation, but you can't sue just for inconvenience.


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