By JAY ROMANO Published: January 27, 2011 on NYTimes.com
Q The lease on my apartment expires in September, and my landlord intends to sell the apartment by then. He wants to show it to potential buyers now. The lease does not provide a time frame for showing an apartment. Given that we are eight months away from the end of the lease, I don’t think this is reasonable. Can I refuse to let him show it?
A Lucas A. Ferrara, a Manhattan real estate lawyer and adjunct professor at New York Law School, said that an owner generally has the right to show an apartment for sale to a prospective buyer at any time during the lease period, as long as the owner provided the tenant reasonable notice. “Notice of several days to a week in advance would likely be considered sufficient,” Mr. Ferrara said. He added that a tenant who refused to allow an owner to show an apartment could be subject to an eviction proceeding. It is even possible, he said, that the tenant could be found liable for monetary damages if the owner could prove he lost money because of a tenant’s refusal to allow access.