Rentals in New York>Question Details

Mbk, Renter in New York, NY

My landlord is selling the building where i rent, and the rental agent is asking for a key. Am I obliged to provide it?

Asked by Mbk, New York, NY Tue Sep 20, 2011

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Hi Mbk. Simply stated NO! You have zero obligation to give a key out to the apartment that you are in legal possession of. You can and should check with a real estate Attorney as I am not one.

This bring up a question as well. Even if you don't hand over a key, the broker may obtain it from the building owner. You need to make clear to the owner that you will only allow entrance (key not withstanding) while you are present if that is what you prefer. This can be at a time of your choosing and nobody else. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
Thank you all for your help!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
Dear Mbk,

When you rent an apartment you gain a bundle of rights that passes to you with the lease.
- Right of enjoyment
- Right of exclusion
- Right of possession

Unless there is a provision in your lease that the landlord can access your apartment for showings or you have any other type of arrangement you can exercise your "Right of exclusion" and not let anyone on your property until your lease ends. Also remember your lease is between you and your landlord. You can address any issues, repair or showing access related, with your landlord directly.

Hope this helps.
Warm regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
Check your lease first, but you do not have to give them a key. If they need to show the apt they can coordinate it with you around your schedule, when you are available to show the apt.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
Most likely near the end of your lease there is a clause that indicates that you agree to have the apartment shown prior to your move out or if they are selling the property. This clause may also stipulate that you will allow showings when you are home or not. Please confirm how this clause is written.

One of the important pieces is that if you like your apartment, you want to make it convenient to the licensed real estate agent. If this is more than a 2 or 3 family building, most buyers will want to keep the tenants. Therefore, if you make it convenient for the seller and the agent, then most likely you will be one of the tenants that the buyers will want to keep. Now, if you make it difficult for the agent and the seller, then they will inform the buyer of this and you may be required to vacate prior to purchase if you are on a 30 day lease or the new buyer will make you vacate at the end of your lease which they have the legal right to do.

I am answering this question not as a real estate agent, but as an investor that has purchased and sold a number of properties for myself. The good tenants who cause no problems, follow the rules, and pay on time a landlord keeps. A tenant who makes the seller's life difficult I am obliged to tell the buyer who in turn may have me have the problem tenant move out prior to the closing of the sale. If you like your apartment, you want to be the good tenant that the new buyers want to keep.

Kelly Killian
Bond New York
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
Not necessarily! Is it commercial or residential? Reread your lease. Your alternative would be to make yourself available when the rental agent is showing the property. I would also contact the landlord & talk it out with him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
Much will depend on your lease agreement, therefore review the document as the answer can be found in it...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
I believe the rental agent has to get the key through the landlord. Now if the landlord wants to show your unit that is a different story. The landlord should have copies of the keys to your unit.

Ivan Pintor
Licensed real estate salesperson
rutenberg realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
If your lease states that you must provide access, you are legally obligated to do so. This does not necessarily mean giving them the key, have them call you in advance of a showing and then give them access.Does the rental agent have the exclusive listing for sale?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
Check your lease regarding this issue
All Points Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
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