Remedies When Tenants Refuse Access to Show Home to Prospective Buyers

Question: We own a rental home in Tempe which we have rented to three ASU students. Our listing broker is trying to sell the home for us. The problem is that our tenants refuse to allow our listing broker to show the home. Our listing broker emails the required 48-hour notice to all three tenants, with a specific time for showing the home to prospective buyers. The tenants, however, will only allow showings between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on weekends. Our listing broker says that this limited time period of only four hours on weekends to show the home is unreasonable, and is threatening to cancel the listing of our home unless the listing broker has a reasonable time period to show our home to prospective buyers. What are our rights to allow our listing broker to show our home to potential buyers?

Answer: You or your agent have the right, upon 48 hours’ notice, to enter the home at reasonable times, e.g., three times a week for an hour between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. See A.R.S. § 33-1343(D). Therefore, your listing agent should document your tenants’ refusal to allow reasonable access for showings of your home to potential buyers. Your lawyer may then have to write a letter to the tenants. If this letter is unsuccessful, the lawyer may have to file a lawsuit for a court order for reasonable access. If the tenants then violate this court order for reasonable access, the tenants could be held in contempt of court, with payment of your legal fees, fines, and even jail time.

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