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Short Sale Realtor showings of occupied property-How frequent can they be? Quiet Enjoyment

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by shortsaletenant, Feb 25, 2012.

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  1. shortsaletenant

    shortsaletenant Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I'm renting a single family house in LA county with three housemates (students/young professionals.) We've been at our current place for almost 3 years and have a good relationship with our management company. Recently, the owner (who we don't have contact with) decided to sell the place and didn't notify us or the management company. I believe its a short sale situation, there are definitely some tax problems and most likely mortgage problems.

    Its only been on the market for about a week now and we've had five realtor-client appointments. Luckily, I'm working from home at the moment so I can usually be here when people are coming through and keep an eye on things. The downside of that is that every time I have to accommodate someone and they don't show up or show up late, it severely impacts my work output and work schedule. Its fair to say that its already costing me money, and we still have 5 months to go before the lease is up...

    The big question is how much is considered harassment or breach of "quiet enjoyment"?

    1b: I've ran across stuff saying that a California lease implicitly guarantees "right of possession." Any resource where I can learn more about this and what exactly it entitles us to?

    Is there any obvious way to get out of the lease? I quite simply won't be able to maintain my work and make money if the current trend continues.

    The selling agent generally gives (almost) appropriate notice, but it looks like he's listed the property with virtually every company in the area-its generally a new realtor that we don't know and haven't spoken to every time there's a showing. They never show up within the agreed upon time. Do these sub-realtors count as agents of the owner/landlord as far as Civil Code 1954 is concerned?

    The agent has hinted at the prospect of an open house. We live in a very high burglary/break-in area and one of the common schemes is scouting a place out during an open house to rob later. Do I have any grounds to stop an open house from happening? Civil code 1954 specifies that the landlord can show the house to prospective buyers...is someone that walks in off the street with no clear intention of buying considered a 'prospective buyer' as far as the law is concerned?

    Sorry for the long post, trying to find this information elsewhere has been fruitless. Any info is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for reading.
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    If showing the apartment is excessive, then it is possible for you to get out of your lease. However, typically what you're describing is not nearly enough to call this as "constructive eviction." Your landlord is allowed reasonable entry so having a key for the manager to be present to show the apartment should be sufficient and your presence not required. If they are mandating that an agent walk into your apartment, I don't blame you. Tell them your terms and that the property manager or a responsible agent approved by yourself must be present and not random agents who will have no liability for loss or damages.

    Have you spoken to the landlord about leaving the home early due to this issue? See if you can negotiate an out - easiest way and mutual agreement is always the best way to resolve a dispute. Best of luck to you and your housemates.

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