Open home induces rent-reduction demands from tenant

Davina asks:
(updated on Wednesday, February 01st 2012)

Hello, I have a property I am trying to sell. I have a tenant in the house at the moment. My tenant is well aware of the hope to sell and I have had a few people come and look at the place at the convenience of my tenant. I have received a request from the tenant that I drop her rent if I want to organize open homes. Of course this is not what I want to do and feel that doing open homes are all part of the sale process. I would like to know where I stand on this matter? Thankyou.

Our Experts Answer:

A property owner has a right to sell a property while it is tenanted, and there is no requirement to decrease the rent for a tenant while the property is on the market. The tenant must make reasonable access available, and a landlord’s requests for access must be reasonable.

Some tenants are uncomfortable with open homes, and some prefer open homes as a shortcut to showing multiple prospective purchasers with less disruption than individual appointments cause. Who is to say what is reasonable? It’s all subjective.

The real question regarding access has to be answered by negotiation between you and your tenant. If you think a partial rent rebate during an open home week is a way of getting the marketing exposure that you want, then go for it! Whatever you can agree between you is much more effective than an ongoing dispute.

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