Today was the first time I’ve had to step away from my apartment for my landlord to show the place to potential renters. He technically didn’t give me the required 48 hr notice but, since it was close enough, I didn’t mention it at all. It was set for 7 and he and I agreed that I will be gone for an hour. It is annoying since 7-8 is my preferred dinner time but since this has yet to become a regular occurrence, I didn’t think about it too much.
I have cleaned the house, put boxes where it is inconvenient for me so that it allows for maximum view. I came home and did a last minute clean up then made dinner (grilled burgers on the balcony) to take with us to the park while they were looking at the unit.
I returned to the apartment with the lights on everywhere and the screen door open. Especially since I pay for the electricity, I emailed the landlord to let him know that the lights were on and it would be great if he could make sure that the lights are turned off. As is, the utility bill is 5x what he had told me (he said electric and gas would be about $20 a month, it is consistently between $75 and $100 with AC not turned on and most electronics on smart plugs) and if he is going to do a lot of showing, this will become an issue.
He had the nerve to tell me that because the place “shows better when there is no food odor” that he is requesting that I do not cook before showings. Seriously? I replied back that if showings are around my dinner time, I am already being generous by agreeing to step away for an extended period of time and I will not schedule my cooking to occur after the showings.
As I have previously mentioned, I am lucky that Chicago has a strong Landlord Tenant Ordinance that outlines each of our rights on top of our lease. By having thoroughly read it, I know that my landlord is not allowed to put requirements on when I can and can’t cook. Further, it states that I need 48 hrs notice to let him in and nowhere does it require me to step away from the apartment during the showings. If he pushes back on the cooking or other ridiculous requests, I will push back. And since I did not put down a security deposit, there is nothing he can hold over my head.
If you are currently renting, I believe it is really important to review your lease terms and also to research whether your state and/or city has additional protection for you as a renter. In a lot of business transactions such as this, people look to take advantage of you and knowing your rights is the only way you can really protect yourself.