What's "reasonable" access to my apartment by a real estate agent?

My building’s for sale. I’m hoping it will be sold to someone who wants to keep us as tenants, for the same we’re paying, but we’ll see.

But the question is, what’s reasonable in terms of number of walk-throughs per week, amount of warning given, number of visits a day, time of visits etc.?

I don’t really want to make a fuss, 'cause we’d like whomever ends up buying to like us. OTOH, I feel like walk throughs on a Federal Holiday is a wee bit much. I’m feeling like 5 walk-throughs in less than a week is a bit much. I’m feeling like 2 different walk-throughs in one day (Tomorrow, 1 at 10am, 1 at 6pm) is really, really a bit much.

Am I justified in feeling a bit of a self-pity party coming on? Or am I overreacting 'cause I’m stressed and scared?

(Oh, and I’m on a verbal month-to-month in Chicago. No written lease which might actually cover something like this.)

To me it means ***lock your shit up in someplace other than your house.

And you should be able to negotiate times with the agent - if they’re calling and saying, “we’ve got people who want to look at your place at p,q,r,s,t,w,x,y,z times” it is totally ok for you to say “ok, well, p and r are good, and we can work with y and z, but you’re going to have to tell q, s, t, w, and x that they need to pick another time. What about a-e instead?” If the agent can’t work with that, then you go up the chain and start mentioning the National Association of Realtors and their complaint line.

And I’m serious about your stuff. Don’t even leave a computer there without setting up a bitch of a password, and chaining it to the desk. Realtors are getting scammed left right and center with multiple people coming in on Open Houses and one person distracting the agent while the other person does a quick snatch and grab on the side. The agency will have to pony up for your belongings if they can’t get them back from the crooks, but they will fight you about it the whole way, and then you have to deal with your insurance spiking and police reports and all that shite. It’s easier to just make sure there’s nothing there for them to get in the first place.

Hard lessons learned…

ETA - if it’s your landlords doing it, you need to check out your municipal renter’s rights. Call City/Town Hall and find out where you can get that info. Somewhere there will be spelled out limitations on when and how your landlord can barge in on you with people, regardless of the reason. If they’re being unreasonable (and that many shows at one time seems a bit much to me also) then you just have to show them the laws. You don’t have to be nasty about it, but you do have to live there. They’ll just have to understand that.

When I was viewing homes for sale, if there were renters present, many of the listings had stipulations stated about at least 24 hours notice, and some even had time restrictions. Such as, “viewings after 5pm weekdays, and 24 hour notice required.” When I went to see the properties, the renters were home. I don’t blame them, as I would also want to be present while a stranger is looking through my home. It may be a rental, but it’s my stuff, and I have animals I want to make sure don’t bolt out a door while clueless strangers are tramping about.

If you can get your neighbors in on this, too (it sounds like they’re walking through all the units?), the agent may simply do viewings M-F from 5-7pm for instance. It sure would be a lot easier on all the residents. The random and frequent viewing times (even if given notice) sound unfair to me.

I signed a contract for a vacation house I currently rent. It says they can do a walk-thru to see the condition of the house. I was really upset i like my privacy had have lots of valubles and 2 large dogs.

The homeowner lives in signapore so he visits about 2 times a year. His walkthru was calling me outside telling me he just looked at the property and was happy in how I was caring for it. I ended up practically dragging him inside and talked for a few. He did not want to come in. I showed him around and by the time he left he said that the walk thru part of the contract was just in case someone wasn’t taking care of the place. However our place and upgrades we did made him comfortable enough to say “I will never step foot inside this house again” I told the real estate guy that if there was a unwelcomed walk thru, that the contract would be broken and that the next day the house would be vacant (ill just move back to my house down the street that i own)

Its just that i ended up getting along with the owner enough to be ok with him coming inside. YMMV. Never without me there and the dogs locked up in the master.

Your situation is different since they are selling, there will always be a variable in people. Maybe a camera with a motion record setting would be a great investment for you security wise.

If it were me, i would say something like "I get home around 5, SO from 5:15 to 5:45 you may visit M-F. Then they could make a schedule with whoever was interested.

The best way to deal with it is to set up a schedule with the realtor so that he doesn’t have to keep approaching you for each individual showing. Say Saturday from 11 - 4, Monday and Wednesday from 9 -7, etc. That way you are prepared in advance, and he doesn’t have to play footsie with everyone on the phone trying to set up a showing. You will also know when you can watch tv in your underwear without being interrupted.

Note that you only have to worry about someone else’s definition of “reasonable” if you can’t come to an agreement.

If you say that there can only be showings on Tuesday and Thursday from 5:17pm to 5:52pm with 24 hours written notice each time, and the agent agrees, then you’re done.

Most agents realize that the renter can make the process a serious headache, so they’re inclined to agree to what you propose, as long as they think they can work around it.

I would require at least 24 hours notice, as well as I or my representative would be present to make sure nobody pocketed anything. I would attempt to have pretty much any portable valuable locked in a closet [I would purchase an outdoor doorknob locking type myself and install it. I would inform my landlord that this closet will remain locked with my valuables inside until either the showings stop or I move out. No negotiation on that.] I would also restrict appointments to when it was convenient to me, taking off work is RIGHT OUT. I would not consider 9 am to 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays [by appointment] and 6 pm to 9 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays [by appointment] untoward.

Having people wandering through your residence is [to me, since I am phobic about strangers in my space] a horrible imposition, and adding in the possibility of theft or perhaps even violence even worse. [I have been ripped off twice by roomies and burglarized once by strangers and that is the root cause of the phobia, what triggered it to get worse I haven’t been able to figure out. Thankfully our roomie is able to be here if we need the furnace serviced so I don’t have to feel like I am being abused]

Well, the 6:00 showing was cancelled. To his credit, he called us at 6:10 to let us know. :smack:

Gah, I feel so powerless. I actually quite like this apartment. With the state of my credit, it’d be hellacious to try to find another. Not to mention the struggles of moving with a recently post-op SO. (He’s due for major abdominal surgery on the 12th…)


Yeah, looks like self-pity party wins. Thanks for the input, guys.

…now to go form some boundaries…

Yeah, and demand that he keep the showings each day grouped together. 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. is not cool. They should have been back to back, or as close as possible to that.

I don’t think the self-pity party is unreasonable. I fear the verbal month to month lease makes your rights in the matter fewer than with a written and longer term lease. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to try to make some arrangement for less inconvenient timing.

Many communities have some kind of housing office where they deal (mostly) with low-income housing and such. But they often also have some kind of ombudsman who can advise on landlord-tenant issues. See if you have something like that in your area.