Can A Landlord Put A Lock Box On My Door? (Find Out Now!)

Jennifer Eggerton
by Jennifer Eggerton

You come home after a hard day only to find some strange device hanging on your door. After a few minutes, you realize that it’s a lock box. Can your landlord put a lock box on your door for showings?

Your landlord has the right to put a real estate lock box on your door for showings. The landlord must abide by the lease agreement, and give proper notice when the showings are scheduled. Showings cannot disrupt your quiet enjoyment of the property. If anything is stolen or damaged during the showings, the landlord or real estate agent may be liable.

Having a landlord who wants to sell a property where you are a rental tenant is a challenging situation. It disrupts your daily routine and sense of security. Landlords do have the right to sell their rentals, but you also have rights in these situations.

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Can My Landlord Sell the House I’m Renting?

Your landlord owns the property where you rent. As the rightful owner, the landlord can sell the property at any time, with or without notice to the tenants. As part of a normal selling process, your landlord also has the right to provide showings to prospective buyers. Additionally, banks that are financing the purchase have the right to inspect the interior and exterior of the property.

Having a landlord show your home as part of a real estate purchasing agreement is unnerving. Strangers will be in your home, and you may not be present for the showings. You do have rights in these situations that can help you feel a bit more at ease.

What are My Rights If My Landlord Sells the Property?

You do have some rights as a tenant when your landlord sells a property. The rights are described in your lease. Review it carefully, and consult with a housing advocate or attorney if you have questions and concerns.

Does a Landlord Have to Give Notice Before Selling?

Check your lease. Some lease agreements have a clause that allows lease termination in the event of a sale. This means that, regardless of how long the lease is, it is no longer valid once the property sells.

The new landlord may offer you a new lease, and the new lease can have completely different terms. You may be required to pay more in rent, deposits, and fees.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Need to Give Before Selling?

In most jurisdictions, new landlords have to honor the existing leases. If you are on a month-to-month lease, the landlord may be required to give you a 30- or 60-day notice to vacate.

How to Handle a Landlord Who is Selling the Property

Housing is a basic need for anyone, and you want to feel safe and secure in your home. As a renter, there are many times when you may feel at the mercy of someone else. When you find out that your landlord is selling the property, a myriad of questions flows through your mind. Will the new landlord raise the rent? Will the property be maintained? Will you have to move? Can you find another place that you can afford? Will the new landlord honor the lease?

The one thing to keep in mind is that your new landlord has to abide by the existing lease agreement. In other words, you cannot be put out on the streets. Rents cannot be raised without proper notice. Your new landlord cannot require any additional fees or deposits without appropriate notice. In other words, you have some time to assess the situation.

Just remember to stay calm. You will get through this, and everything will work out. Patience, courtesy, confidence, and a calm mind goes far in any situation.

What to Expect When Your Landlord is Selling the Property

A landlord who is selling a property is the same as any buyer and seller relationship on real estate. The landlord hires a real estate agent who shows the property to potential buyers. Buyers have the right to request inspections of the property. There may be one or more offers on the property, and your landlord may accept one of the offers.

While most of this happens behind the scenes, you are directly affected by the showings. People will come into your home to see the property. This is when tenants can feel unwelcome and uncomfortable in their own homes.

Landlord Showing an Apartment While Occupied

Landlords can show properties that are occupied. They do need to give the tenants notice, and the showings cannot interfere with the quiet enjoyment of the rental unit. This means that there cannot be a high number of showings each day. Additionally, showings need to be scheduled at reasonable hours, not late at night or early in the morning.

Do Landlords Have to Give Notice Before Showing an Apartment?

With advance notice, your landlord or a real estate agent can enter the property as needed for showings. You can request that you be present during the showings. Ultimately, though, it’s up to the landlord and real estate agent. They don’t have to accommodate your schedule. This is where the lock box on your door comes into play.

What is a Lock Box?

A lock box is a security device that is widely used in real estate. The box contains a key to your rental unit, and it is normally put on the handle of your front door. You open the box by putting in a combination code. The landlord or real estate agent set the code to open the box.

What are Lock Boxes For?

Lock boxes allow real estate agents to access a property that is for sale without the owner needing to be present. Leaving a key in the lock box allows multiple agents to access the property.

Are Lock Boxes Safe?

Lock boxes are generally safe. This option is much safer than having a key to your apartment passed around to different agents. The boxes are fairly strong, but anyone who is truly determined can get the key and go into your home. Some boxes have a master key that opens the lock box without a code.

Can I Refuse to Have a Lockbox on My Door?

You can request that a lock box not be attached to your front door, but it’s up to your landlord. If you are uncomfortable with having a lock box, work with the landlord and real estate agent. See if you can arrange showings for times when you can be at home.

Landlord Responsibilities for Lock Boxes

Your landlord retains a higher level of responsibility while there is a lock box on your door. Namely, if your belongings are damaged or stolen, your landlord or the agent may be liable. You will have to prove that the damage or theft occurred as a result of the lock box or showings. This is where security cameras come in handy.

Notify the real estate agent and landlord that you have cameras mounted inside your home. When you notice damage or missing items, review the camera footage.

If the footage clearly shows that the damage or theft occurred during the showing, contact law enforcement to make a report. You can also file a report if the footage shows that an unauthorized person broke into the lockbox and gained entry into your home.

How to Protect Your Belongings During Showings

Once you get used to the idea of having strangers in your home, you may worry about your belongings. Unfortunately, you may need to take steps to protect your personal items. Speak with the landlord to see if there is somewhere on the property for you to store items. It should be a location that is not part of the showing, such as an outdoor shed or storage room.

If you don’t have a place to store your items onsite, get a small storage unit. Make sure that you don’t leave any valuable items in plain sight. Carry your jewelry and other valuable items with you.

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Related Questions

Can a new landlord evict me?

Your current lease transfers from the old landlord to the new landlord. If your new landlord determines that you are violating the lease, you can be evicted.


How do I change my lease?

Rental leases are for fixed time periods. If you need to modify your lease before the term is up, speak with your landlord. You may be able to sign a new lease or do a lease addendum.

Conclusion

Renting a property in the midst of a potential sale is very stressful. It is even more stressful when you find a lock box on your front door. Your landlord has the right to provide a lock box for the realtor, as well as the right to show the property. You can request that a lock box be used, but you cannot refuse to have the box installed. Maintaining a positive relationship with the landlord, real estate agent, and potential buyers is important during this time. Try to work with them, and make sure that your rights are not being violated.

Jennifer Eggerton
Jennifer Eggerton

Jennifer L. Eggerton loves being hands-on, whether it's with a home DIY project, making repairs, re-decorating a room, or keeping life organized. She enjoys helping people by sharing her knowledge, insights, and experiences, as well as her lessons learned. In addition to her work as a writer, Jennifer is a JeepĀ® overlander, self-published author, and nature photographer who loves being outdoors.

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