Moving Out: Apartment Showing Etiquette


Are you moving from one apartment to another? If you’re in a complex or building with limited open units, your landlord will likely want to start showing your apartment to prospective renters while you are still living there. This gives the landlord a chance to fill your apartment’s vacancy before you’ve moved out, meaning if you move out on April 1, they can secure a new tenant in March who will move in April 15. Although your behavior  shouldn’t affect your security deposit, it’s always best to leave your landlord with a positive impression, in case your next landlord asks them about your track record. When the landlord schedules a showing of your apartment, consider these quick etiquette tips.

Ask your landlord to schedule apartment showings well in advance

Your landlord should have this listed in your lease, but ask them for some advance notice before they plan to show your apartment and have them confirm that the date and time works for you. By understanding their showing schedule, you can determine when to clean up and ensure your place is presentable.

Pick up your belongings

Even if you keep your apartment neat and tidy, take a few minutes to pick up any clothes or shoes that are lying around, clean off kitchen and bathroom counters, and tidy up. This shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes, and don’t feel the need to deep-clean (unless your apartment really needs it!). Your landlord should not make any notes for your security deposit during an apartment showing, but it’s great to keep your best foot forward when you know they’ll be by.

Secure any pets

If you have any pets, be sure they are secured when the showing occurs. Whether that is crating your pet, giving your landlord instructions on getting acclimated to the pet, or you staying home during the showing to tend to the pet, make a decision to ensure everyone is comfortable. If you’re not sure how your pet will react to strangers in your apartment, make arrangements with your landlord to be home when they come over.

If in attendance, be polite and honest

If invited to attend the showing or reminded that you don’t have to leave, be polite but honest with the potential tenant. You have insight about living in your apartment that not even your landlord knows, so feel free to answer the potential tenant’s questions. Be polite and respectful of your landlord but don’t feel the need to sugar-coat the truth.

A final note: There are laws in place to protect tenants from overbearing landlords. If your landlord’s behavior isn’t consistent with the lease, or he enters the apartment without advance notice, or comes during non-business hours without notice, check into your local regulations.

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