Showing a Rental Property when it’s Occupied

So your tenants are moving out next month…
Although many would agree it’s much easier to wait for the unit to be vacant, most states allow a landlord to show a habited rental if the tenant is given advance notice to enter.

Is the rush necessary? It’s generally in the landlord’s best interest to inspect and freshen up the property before showing it to a prospective tenant. Otherwise, you never know what you’re gonna see.

While the laws of most states give landlords a right to show with a 1-2 day advance notice, tenants are not obligated to make the unit presentable. So be aware: Prospects rarely come back after bad first impressions.

Now if you’re still determined to show the property while it’s occupied, here are a few tips worth considering:

Give at Least 2 Days Advance Notice: This not only ensures you are legally compliant in all jurisdictions, it also gives the tenant ample notice to straighten up and to avoid embarrassment (hopefully, they’ll care).

Limit Your Weekly Showings: As a matter of courtesy, try not to exceed three showings per week and do your best to prescreen (by discussing rent, deposit, pet policy, etc.) so your effort to show is not wasted.

Don’t Post a “For Rent” Sign: While it may be okay to show the occupied unit, putting a sign up could cause problems and confusion. Once again, if you must, then include a notice not to disturb the tenants.

Obviously, there are many variables at play when considering whether or not to show an occupied property. If necessary, you can always take a little off the rent for tenants who may be messy or unwilling.

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