Can I make brokers make appointments with me to show my apartment?
January 30, 2008 8:14 PM   Subscribe

Woo hoo! Just one month left in my bad apartment. Since management now knows I'm not re-signing my lease for a second year, my apt. will need to be shown (by brokers) to potential new tenants this month. Are the brokers required to make appointments with me, or can they show up whenever they want? If they knock without notice am I required to let them in?

I can't WAIT for this lease to end, it's been my only really bad experience in many years of NYC living. (So I might have some degree of leverage in that I could say in advance to brokers: if you respect my time by giving me notice, I'll agree to be politely neutral if your clients ask me about anything while they're here.)

There's no chance my place would be shown without me at home (nobody else has keys). And I work at home so I'm here most of every day/evening.

My lease only says my *landlord* is required to give me reasonable notice before entering; it doesn't say anything about the situation of the apt. being shown by brokers.

I'd like to put up a sign on my door that tells brokers that they must make appointments, they can't just knock with no notice. The problem is if you put anything on your door here, other tenants/kids will always rip it off for fun. So I can't count on anything staying on my door.

If I saw this question, I would say just ask the landlord/management co. -- but mine is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to contact (you have to leave many messages before there's even a chance of return contact) -- I have no onsite landlord, just a distant management company who manage many NYC buildings. When I was shown this place by a broker last year, it was empty (after a gut renovation) so I have no model of "how it worked last time." All I know is there were many brokers from various companies showing it, it wasn't an exclusive. And I don't know any neighbors enough to ask about how this was handled when they saw their apt. This is not a building where you can just ring a neighbor's bell with a question like that -- you would be met with suspicion and get no good information.

Basically I have to find out on my own. I haven't been able to google anything useful or definitive so far.
posted by sparrows to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The broker is acting as an agent of your landlord. The 24-hour notice thing is applicable even if it weren't in your lease (except for an emergency like a gas leak). It applies to the broker just like it applies to your landlord, and the only way the broker would be in the clear for violating it would be if the landlord actually lied to the broker about you being available.

Of course, you should talk to a lawyer if you really care about this. Otherwise, inform the broker she's not welcome without proper notice.
posted by aswego at 8:26 PM on January 30, 2008

IANINYC (I am in not in NYC) but in Chicago landlords have to give you 48-hours notice before entering your apartment for non-emergencies like showing your place to potential renters.

Look at your lease - there are probably details relating to this in there. Also check out the local tenets law.

My last landlords were pretty nasty to deal with. They told me they would show the place on the weekends during very specific hours. One of their minions showed up on a weekday evening (after I had just gotten in from a bike ride, was sweaty, and had just stripped down to jump in the shower) wanting to show the place and I refused to let them in. Guy was like, "We can come into your apartment anytime we want!" And I was all like, "No you damn well can't - you have to give me 48 hours notice. It's in my lease." I wanted to say, "So suck on that!" But I refrained.

You do not have to let them in if they haven't given you notice. If they have contacted you and said, "We'll be showing your apartment this month," then you need to have them specify hours. Unless they specify hours, I wouldn't let them in unless they give however many day's notice is required per visit.
posted by wfrgms at 8:26 PM on January 30, 2008

Response by poster: The broker is acting as an agent of your landlord.

Perfect logic -- thank you!!
posted by sparrows at 8:54 PM on January 30, 2008

New York Attorney General's Tenant's Rights Guide says, "Tenants have the right to privacy within their apartments. A landlord, however, may enter a tenant's apartment with reasonable prior notice, and at a reasonable time... to show the apartment to prospective purchasers or tenants."
posted by grouse at 3:24 AM on January 31, 2008

This Q&A from the NYT is only slightly helpful:
A Peter Schwartz, a Manhattan lawyer who specializes in real estate, said that unless the lease contains language specifying the days and hours the house can be shown to prospective purchasers, the issue is whether the tenants are being provided with reasonable notice.

''The question of reasonable notice is one that would be dependent upon the particular circumstances,'' Mr. Schwartz said.

In the case of nonemergency repairs to a tenant's apartment, for example, some courts have held that 24 hours is reasonable while others have held that a full week's notice would be required.

As a result, Mr. Schwartz said, since each case involves unique circumstances, there is no foolproof way to determine what a particular court would consider reasonable in a particular case.
posted by grouse at 3:35 AM on January 31, 2008

Ugh. I feel your pain. I'm moving out of my place soon and though we should legally have 24 hours notice, they've been parading people in and out whenever they please for the last couple of weeks. They have a key, so there's not much I can do physically, and I don't feel like making a big legal stink. So hold on to your key and double-lock it if possible, and practice your legal-ese now, especially if you've had problems with them in the past.
posted by fermezporte at 5:41 AM on January 31, 2008

I had a landlord who did that. I hung signs all over the place talking about what a horrid landlord he was, and how if they were seeing the signs it was because he violated my privacy and NY law by entering without notice or permission. Did it after he brought someone in no-notice while I was in the bathtub.

And they were everywhere, too. So there was no way to keep the prospective tenants from seeing them.

He brought one person over while the signs were up. No one else without notice after that.
posted by Kellydamnit at 6:38 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

« Older Looking for remodeling picture series   |   Errr ... uh ... ahhh ... yo momma! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.