If I need to sell my house, how can I get my tenants to cooperate?

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If I need to sell my house, how can I get my tenants to cooperate?

I live in one state but have a rental house to sell in another. My tenants are being difficult by not allowing my real estate agent in to take pictures and now are not returning phone calls. I have given them notice that I have given the agent permission to enter the home to take pictures and do an open house. I fear that the home is a mess. The yard is a mess and they have built an illegal structure off the back door. Their lease is up in less than 2 months but I need to start the process ASAP.

Asked on December 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The can't keep you--or your realtor--out; you owe them notice, but do not need their permission, and may enter after appropriate notice.

You can force them to take down any structures which, under the lease or zoning laws, they had no right to build, but if they will not do so voluntarily, would have to file legal action to get a court order.

You can't force them to clean up, unless the lease actually puts in place cleanliness standards; if it does, you can enforce it, again, through the courts if necessary.


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