Open-home interruptions

Bayne asks:
(updated on Friday, May 04th 2012)

Does my landlord have the right to put the house that I am renting off him on the market without reducing the rent at all? There will be a major inconvenience of having strangers walking through the house during property viewings and open homes.

Our Experts Answer:

Yes, the owner of a property has the right to place a tenanted property on the market. There is no associated requirement that the rent should be reduced. Section 48 of the Residential Tenancies Act provides that the landlord may enter the property with the prior consent of the tenant for the purpose of showing the premises to prospective purchasers. The tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent, and “may make the consent subject to any reasonable conditions”. You may then ask “what is reasonable?” In the cool light of day, the Act really requires that you both work out between you an arrangement that is acceptable to you both. Whether that involves a reduction in rent or other type of concession is a matter between you both. It is not obligatory. Also, the landlord (and indeed an appointed real estate agent) will have their own views on what sort of access is reasonable. The arrangement must be a question of balancing your right to quiet enjoyment of the property and the landlord’s right to on-sell to a purchaser. There is no real substitute for agreeing a timetable of viewings which you can both live with. Whether that be via “open home” sessions or pre-arranged individual appointments, or even agent access in your absence, is something to be worked out together.

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