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View Full Version : My landlord is selling my house while I'm still renting... What rights do I have?



JessieGean
Jan 9, 2011, 12:12 PM
Thank you for taking the time to read my question! I am currently renting month-to-month, and my landlord just told me that she will be trying to sell the house. She called me at 3pm on Saturday to tell me that she would be by with potential buyers at 9:30AM the next day. I have searched and searched, but all I could find about PA law on this matter is that landlords/real estate agents must give 'reasonable' notice. To me, 'reasonable' seems pretty relative. I am a full-time nursing student on top of working a full-time job and having a family, and it was a race to get the house spick-and-span as well as hide all intimate or valuable items in time. So, I guess my questions are these:

1. In PA, is there any set amount of time that I *must* be given notice before my landlord/realor shows the house, or is it simply whatever they think is 'reasonable'?

2. Can my realtor/landlord show my house without my being there? We own the typical valuables of a family (jewelry, electronics, cash, etc) and worry that any of these things can be taken while we're not there.

3. In PA, do we have any rights as to a 'set' time in which my landlord can show the house? For example, Mon-Fri? Sundays are the only days my whole family has off, and we usually spend it as 'family time' lounging in our PJ's and making big, messy breakfasts. I realize our landlord has to sell, but do we have any right to say "Monday would be better"?

4. In PA, is there any set amount of time that our landlord *must* give us before she makes us move? Unfortunately, I do not have a lease, as this house was a bit of an emergency move.

A great big thank you to whomever can answer these questions for me!

excon
Jan 10, 2011, 08:09 AM
Hello J:

You're asking for a reasonable definition of the word, "reasonable". I can't define it, but you MUST. KEEP in mind that she has a RIGHT to sell her house while you're renting, and you have a RIGHT to live your life with the least disruption possible. REASONABLE people would be able to work it out. Let's hope you're BOTH reasonable.

She's going to have to put up with the house not being squeaky clean when she comes by, and/or refused entry if she just shows up, and you're going to have to make sure your valuables are locked up.

excon

AK lawyer
Jan 10, 2011, 10:38 AM
... and it was a race to ... hide all intimate or valuable items in time. ...


Normally leave your illicit drugs just lying around, huh?

JessieGean
Jan 11, 2011, 03:00 PM
More like thongs and jewelry and my husband's dirty socks :) We don't have drugs in our house.

adthern
Jan 11, 2011, 03:04 PM
Just an aside, if I were the buyers and the renters caused a problem during a visit. I would insist on the house being delivered empty, so it might be in your best interests to not make waves if you want to continue living there (just a thought).

JessieGean
Jan 11, 2011, 03:06 PM
Thank you for your answer. I agree with you completely. I just wish there were some hard and fast rules as far as time frames when it comes to this. I don't want to disappoint my kids, but I also don't want to be a headache for my landlord.

JessieGean
Jan 11, 2011, 03:12 PM
No, I certainly don't want to cause any trouble. I understand that she must sell, I just want to know if I have privacy/time/schedule rights. The buyers would be inhabiting the house. We would have to move. That's fine, but how much time do we get?

excon
Jan 11, 2011, 03:19 PM
Hello again, J:

The lawmakers in your state didn't want to narrow it down to more than "reasonable". It's that way in every state... In fact, the law is based on how reasonable people act...

With a month to month rental, your landlord is only required to give you 30 days WRITTEN notice. It must include a complete rental period.

excon

JessieGean
Jan 11, 2011, 03:31 PM
Thanks! We were hoping to buy a house in a year when I get out of school.Looks like it'll just be a bit sooner!I'll enlist hubby in keeping things ship-shape and just hope that the house doesn't have to be shown much past the kid's bedtime:)

excon
Jan 11, 2011, 03:34 PM
and just hope that the house doesn't have to be shown much past the kid's bedtime:)Hello again, J:

Much past the kids bedtime WOULDN'T be reasonable, now, would it? You ARE allowed to refuse. Let's hope she doesn't ask.

excon

Fr_Chuck
Jan 11, 2011, 03:40 PM
There is no set time, while in many states they require a 24 hour notice, to most calling at 3 pm to show it the next morning is normally accepted.

You know they are going to be showing and should try to keep tings put away a little better. But you are not required to clean up, you can leave dirty clothes, thongs or what ever anywhere you want.

And no, you can not tell them when, the realitor will tell the landlord when they will come, when the buyer can make it, they pick the time, And most real estate agents will want you gone, they may even ask you to leave the house while they are showing the home. You are not required to leave but they will prefer you not to be there, so the buyers will not feel like they are being watched.

Of course if you are not trying to work with the seller you can expect to merely be given a 30 day notice to move.

You have really no say in it what so ever.

Also sadly you can also expect them if they have not already to put a lock box on the front door so that real estate agents will have the ability to enter your house, each agent has a code that opens the lock that gives them a key to enter the house.

So sadly expect a few agents to bring someone on spur of the moment with no notice, they are not suppose to but if you are not home, they can have a key and will come in anyway. And really all you can do is file a protest with the landlord and use it as a reason to move.

AK lawyer
Jan 12, 2011, 06:34 AM
... She called me at 3pm on Saturday to tell me that she would be by with potential buyers at 9:30AM the next day.
...

We own the typical valuables of a family (jewelry, electronics, cash, etc) and worry that any of these things can be taken while we're not there.
...

If you were offended at my previous remark, I apoligize. I was intrigued by the idea that all valuables would have to be hidden. I now see that there is a possibility you would not be able to be home when the house is shown.

It appears to me that calling at 3 pm. About showing the house at 9:30 the next morning is an attempt to be reasonable. The landlord may not have realized however that this still might be difficult for you. I would respond to such a request by explaining that, with your schedule, preparing for a visit at that time wouldn't work for you. Then suggest a specific later time, asking if that would work. Reasonability is s a matter of communication.