What are a tenant’s rights if their rental property is being sold?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2012

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What are a tenant’s rights if their rental property is being sold?

My daughter has rented an apartment for over one year. She has given her 60 day notice as required by the lease agreement.The landlord has listed the property with a realtor and requested my daughter to remove all boxes and keep the property ready to be shown by the realtor. Can the landlord require my daughter to remove packing boxes? Can the landlord require my daughter to vacate the property for showing? Can the landlord and realtor access the property with my daughter absent? What happens if something would get broken or be taken during a showing by the realtor?

Asked on February 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord or its agent have a right to enter and show the premises to sell (or lease) it at reasonable times, upon reasonable notice. This includes accessing when your daughter is not there--they have a right to show it which is not dependent on her presence.

However, they cannot require her to be absent, to remove packing boxes, to change how she lives for showings, etc. They can certainly offer her an incentive to do this things--e.g. rebate part of her rent if she'll do them--but they can't force her to do these things. She is still paying rent to reside there and has the right to live as she likes and be in her apartment, so long as she does violate any lease terms.

If something is broken or stolen, the person breaking or stealing it would be liable; the realtor and/or landlord could be liable, if there were negligent (unreasonably careless) in securing the apartment, monitoring what went on, etc., and that negligence led to the loss.

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