Am I obligated to allow my landlord to show my unit while my lease is still valid?

Asked by Diane Brooks, Chicago, IL Fri Apr 11, 2008

My lease ends on July 1st, 2008 and rent has been paid on time. I do not intend to renew the lease in July, and my landlord wants to give a key to his friend to show the home to potential renters. I don't feel comfortable having a strangers with a key to my unit. Am I obligated to allow the landlord to do this?

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Heidi Engel’s answer
Heidi Engel, , Mount Prospect, IL
Sat Apr 12, 2008
Don, it doesn't sound like the property is listed for rent thru the MLS---so the only lock box would be a combo---I think that would be a HUGE mistake---the landlord could give the combo out to potential renters without even accompanying them. Diane, most leases in our area allow the landlord to enter b/4 the lease end--usually around 2 months prior---since the lease is nearing the end, that is probably the case. I would tell the landlord that you would like to be present for the showings---and you could you could "bonus" that up by letting him know that you could probably "sell" the unit better than anyone by letting potential renters know how "GREAT" of a unit it is and what a" WONDERFUL" landlord he has been----remember the quicker he finds a tenant the quicker the showings willl stop. Hope that helps
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Apr 11, 2008
Read your lease. Your lease probably addresses this point. Most provide for access upon reasonable notice. Some provide for access to show the unit. Others don't. Depending on what you find, you may want to check with an attorney just to make sure that what's in the lease is legal in Chicago. Landlord/tenant laws vary widely by city, county, and state.

You might propose a compromise, such as a lock box. That way, your key isn't floating around. And, even if your lease is silent on the point, you might reasonably request some sort of notice (such as 2 hours, or 4 hours or whatever) prior to showing. And you can explain politely to your landlord that this will work to his advantage as well as yours; it'll allow you to make sure that your unit is presentable.

But, first, read the lease. Then, if necessary, check with a lawyer.

Hope that helps.
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