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Old 10-19-2010, 06:57 PM
 
10 posts, read 67,496 times
Reputation: 18

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Our landlord has informed us they are selling the house we are currently renting. To help the landlord out we have agreed to a month to month rental lease with our rent being reduced. We were informed by a housing broker that viewings will be scheduled only with advance notice to us which is fine. My question is, during an open house or viewing by a potential buyer, if our property is stolen or damaged is it the landlord that is held responsible for that since it is for his benefit that the viewing are being held. The brokers agreement already states he or any other agent showing the house is not responsible for damage or theft so is it on the landlord then? I cannot see how we would be held liable for this type of situation when we are not inside the house while the viewings or open houses are being held and it is for the landlords benefit that these type of viewing are being held in the first place.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Lincoln, CA
505 posts, read 1,448,329 times
Reputation: 517
It's my understanding that unless he specifically has something in writing where it is agreed to, or some form of agreement such as your renter's contract that covers these situations, he is not liable since you are still in possession of the property and it's up to you on who you wish to let into your home or not.

Otherwise, if you're never around, why would they need to give you advance notice? The point of having advance notice is that you'll be around to watch over your own property. The landlord could have simply told you to move out completely, then have the house up for showing, but instead opted to let you stay while people roam around. It's your responsibility to say yes or no to having people view the home while you're present or not and if you agree to let people roam when you're not there, it'll be hard pressed to sue the landlord in a small claims court when the Judge will ask you the exact same question.

Judge: Did you have a formal agreement with the landlord?

Did you allow the Agent to show the home when you're not there?

Do you have property insurance for the specific item that is lost?

Think of it this way. . . your best friend wants to borrow your minivan to pick up his new 55" flatscreen LCD from Best Buy. You loan him the car to do so. He picks up the TV and ties it to the hood of the minivan and stops by McDonald's for a quick happy meal. He comes out and the TV is gone. He wants to sue you because the TV was on your car when it was stolen.

Your insurance carrier will most likely deny the claim because it only covers collision to the car or for general items usually found in a car - such as the stereo, navigation, speakers, etc. - not a giant LCD TV.

The car was in HIS possession at the time the theft happened - even though you knew exactly where he was going and what his purpose was with borrowing the car. As the owner of the car, what, if anything could you have done to prevent the theft?

And finally, how do you know he even lost the big screen TV other than providing you a receipt with it? In the end, it's your word against his in a small claims court.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:42 PM
 
12 posts, read 26,426 times
Reputation: 13
Renter's insurance covers this; if you don't already have it, get it. Make sure you have pictures of your valuables, always advisable, and make sure that valuables are out of sight as much as possible. Of course the showing would be accompanied at all times by the agent doing the showing, so it's not like strangers will just be turned loose on your place.

Oftentimes in lease agreements it is written in that the renters must agree to allow showings the last 30 days of their lease, so the owner can find new renters. If you don't have this in your lease agreement, then it is up to you and the owner to decide whether you may continue to live there during the showings, or if you need to vacate. Obviously it is beneficial to you both, as you have described: owner keeps getting rent, but you get a break on price of rent. So it's kind of a win-win deal right now.

If you are that nervous about the showings you might want to just find a new place sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 25,334,551 times
Reputation: 5067
Quote:
Originally Posted by daddiesgirl View Post
,,,, Otherwise, if you're never around, why would they need to give you advance notice? ,,,.
Advance notice is required by law is why. A owner/land lord has to give a minimum or 24 notice for any entrance of rentals wither for repairs or sales. This does not even need to be in the rental contract.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, CA
505 posts, read 1,448,329 times
Reputation: 517
Reread the comment before that Captain Obvious. That law was made to protect both the landlord and the tenant and states vary on what is "reasonable." In this case, we are talking about California, but the discussion at hand is whether or not there is knowledge or notice, but what happens to the property of the tenant during the open house.

The OP is concerned that his/her property is stolen during the open house - which means he knows that there will be home showings while he is away. So there is no issue of notice, but who is at fault if property is stolen.

For more information, the following site is helpful on a Landlord's right of entry:

Nolo's Fast Facts: A Landlord's Right of Entry
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 25,334,551 times
Reputation: 5067
Hey princess, just commenting on one point. The thread is only 5 posts long so you probably might start to fall behind.
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