Can I Put a Lockbox on my Rental if the Tenant Refuses to Sign the Lockbox Addendum?

Question from a Reader About Showing a Tenant Occupied Property

I’m selling my rental and the lease states that during the last 30 days I can show the property to interested folks. Also says I can have a lockbox on the door, etc. I contacted my tenant to give him a heads up about listing the house and requested that he sign the lockbox form that my realtor sent to him. He responded by asking for a discount on rent and said if he got the discount that he’d sign the lockbox form.

I politely said that I’d be unable to give him the discount on rent and that this is standard practice. I also reminded him that it’s in the lease. He’s since then become unresponsive and is not signing the form. If you were in my position, what would be your next step? 

Our Answer

Personally, I would give the tenant a discount if they keep the property in showable condition. 

Even if  the tenant signs the lockbox addendum, he can do other things to make it it difficult to sell. For example, keeping it dirty or messy.  We have seen tenants poison a sale in progress because they were unhappy about the showings.

If the tenant says no, and you still want to show the rental, give the tenant a Property Entry Notice and show it by appointment. Each state has different rules about the advance notice you need to give your tenants before you enter the property.

With the Property Entry Notice you are not asking to show the rental, you are letting the tenant know when you will be showing. 

Don’t use realtor boxes or self-showing lockboxes while the tenant still lives in the property.

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