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My lease is up on the 31st of July and my landlord wants to sell the home. They told me yesterday the listing will go up on July 5th and that the listing agent will be in touch to schedule showing times.

I know that Michigan State law allows entry with notice by management for maintenance and repairs, as well as for emergencies. My lease agreement additionally allows the landlord entry with 24-hour notice for any reason. However, I don't see any legal statute regarding entry with or without notice for showing, nor does my lease agreement say anything about entry for showing.

Can I legally refuse to allow a listing agent entry to the property for showing? Obviously I've allowed the landlord entry for any reason, so if they were accompany the agent, I don't think I can do anything about it.

If I am within my rights to refuse entry, and a listing agent ignores the refusal and enters anyway (I will be at work when he wants to show), do I have any recourse?

For clarification, there are two parties involved here. The property owner employs a property management company. The lease is with the company, not the owner directly, so the "landlord" is the management company. I don't know if this makes a difference, but thought I would elaborate given the current answer makes reference to the landlord's right to access their own property.

  • Assuming the listing agent will be in touch with showing times as stated and observes at least 24 hour notice, under what theory would you refuse? – user662852 Jun 24 '17 at 17:30
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Michigan law say nothing about landlord entry, so whatever it says in the lease is what is allowed. Various sources like this comment on the lack of such statutory regulations. There does not appear to be any relevant case law for Michigan which impose restrictions on a landlord's right to access a rental. Since there is no statutory or case law restriction on landlord's right to access his property, landlord's agent would have the same right to access. That would mean that if the listing agent were authorized by the landlord to enter, then the agent could enter, and it would not be necessary for the landlord to accompany this agent whenever entry was needed. That does not mean that a "listing agent" that happens to work with a landlord has an independent right to enter the landlord's property. The same would go for repairmen. It is actually not clear to me whether there could be blanket permission for any and all with access to the lock box to enter, since pretty much any realtor can enter a house for sale, subject to whatever the stated limitations are, and they don't call the owner for each entry. I suspect that one would not have legal grounds for imposing a particular additional restriction on a landlord's right to access and permit access to the property, since there's no overriding statute, and restrictions on landlord access mainly derive from statutes.

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This should actually end any thoughts you may be having about this: you state that your lease says the landlord may enter with 24-hour notice for any reason. You also state that you have allowed that to happen (therefore not having challenged the notion of entering at anytime with 24 hour notice). That's your answer. He can enter (so long as he provided the proper notice).

Nonetheless, to some of the points: you say he hires a management company to run the day-to-day at the apartment. Doesn't matter. The company and its employees are considered his agents and if they are acting at his direction no line of distinction will be drawn. Does the "listing agent" work for the management company or is that individual a third party, say Century 21 real estate company or something similar? I believe even the third party agent will be able to enter to show the premises at the direction of the landlord, but I am less certain of this point than I am of the management company employees themselves being able to do so.

Finally to the extent the statute is silent on notice required for entry (again your lease probably covers this in the section you cited), were this matter to go before a judge, he would likely apply a reasonableness standard which, in this case, would likely land on the landlord's side.

This is not legal advice, however, and you certainly should consult a local attorney before making any decisions.

  • The question clearly states my concern lies with allowing a listing agent access. Nowhere did I question whether the landlord could enter the property. The point you're uncertain about is the same point I'm uncertain about and the reason I asked in the first place. – That1Guy Jun 24 '17 at 16:26
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    Does the listing agent work for the management company or a non-related real estate company? The former would mean absolutely can enter reasonably. The latter, yes, I said less certain, but that’s far from not knowing at all. End of the day, if you pursued this in court, there would be numerous factual considerations that wound bear on the agent’s reasonableness in the given situation. – A.fm. Jun 24 '17 at 16:38
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    I will update the question when I have a moment to add more details. I've discovered some things since asking this question that I think might have some impact. – That1Guy Jun 24 '17 at 17:19

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