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My Landlord is Selling My Place, Now What?

We get this question all the time. At Cool Murphy Real Estate, we understand that when a landlord lists a property with tenants, things can get a little complex.

We frequently list multi-family homes, often with tenants in place. Through our extensive experience, we've realized there's a lot of misinformation that can make an already stressful situation even more challenging for renters. After all, laws change from state to state, so relying on Google alone doesn't always provide accurate guidance. We’ve also learned that both people listing their home and those renting while the home is listed aren't clear on the listing process and how it will impact them. Because of this, we felt it was important—no, necessary—to contribute some content to the web for everyone's benefit. You'll find ours is tailor-made for when a home with tenants is listed for sale right here in the Greater New Orleans Metro Area.

Is your landlord selling the house you live in? Do you know your rights? Are you certain about where they begin and end? We are here to help you navigate this situation with accurate and relevant information.

In this post, we'll share what the law deems you're entitled to. We'll also share how we, as a brokerage, seek to work with landlords who list their homes with us to ensure their tenants have fewer interruptions and less stress. A smooth process is better for everyone involved. After all, happy tenants make for better future tenants to future landlords.

Lastly, we'll end with some tips from savvy renters to make things easier for you.

Remember, not everyone at Cool Murphy Real Estate is a homeowner. Some of us rent, and all of us rented at some point. We get it. We're not here to rock the boat; we're here to help find a new landlord with as smooth sailing as possible.

Quick Disclosure: This post was written on 5/21/24, laws and regulations may have since changed. Please note that we are not legal professionals. You should consult a legal professional for the latest and most accurate information and any specific legal advice. We are real estate professionals seeking to address common FAQs based on our extensive experience and high standards for care.

Tenant Rights When Your Home is for Sale: What You Need to Know

1. Should I Look for a New Place to Live When My Rental Home is Put on the Market?

Louisiana/NOLA Law: If you do not have a lease, your rights as a tenant end with the sale of the home. If the new owner accepts rent from you, you have a new tenancy. If you have a fixed-term lease (and recorded it with the city), your new landlords must honor the remaining lease term.

Cool Murphy Law: In addition to the above, we often find that new landlords want to keep current tenants—and income—in place. We work to communicate the potential new owner's intention to your current landlord.

2. How Much Notice Does My Landlord Need to Give Me to Vacate?

Louisiana/NOLA Law: For a fixed-term lease, your landlord needs to give you at least 30 days' written notice. For a month-to-month lease, a 10-day written notice is required.

Cool Murphy Law: In addition to the above, we keep our clients up to speed weekly on how the market and deal are progressing. Your landlord should have a good idea of the future owner's intention and timeline for purchase. We involve the current owner or property manager in scheduling all showings so that everyone is informed. We also make every attempt to be present at all showings, whether there is another licensed agent present or not.

3. Does My Landlord Have the Right to Come in to Show My Home at Any Time Without Notice?

Louisiana/NOLA Law: Check your lease. In the standard lease drafted by NOMAR (Line 175 Signs and Access), your landlord is required to give you a minimum of 24 hours notice when requesting or scheduling a showing or inspection. But in most leases, a landlord does NOT NEED your “permission” to enter the premises as long as the above notice has been given, and this commonly extends to the real estate team they've chosen to represent them if they're entering for the purpose of selling the home. They can enter when you are not there. The good news is they also need to be reasonable with the time of day and the number of times they request access. As long as you have paid your rent and they have accepted it, it is still your home, and you have the right to peaceful possession.

Cool Murphy Law: We work with buyers and buyer's agents by appointment, meaning no last-minute interruptions. We ensure potential buyers are serious, which may include proof of funds or financing, sharing detailed floor plans, and walk-through videos prior to confirming a showing. We also host open houses scheduled far in advance to couple appointments where possible, reducing individual showings. If units are near identical, we may show one unit upon a first visit, avoiding interruptions to all units except for second showings, inspections, appraisals, and pre-closing walk-throughs.

4. Am I Responsible for Cleaning and Making My House ‘Show Ready’?

Louisiana/NOLA Law: No, not really. While your landlord cannot continually disrupt your life, you also cannot deliberately obstruct the sale. This includes only permitting showings in narrow windows, denying reasonable requests made within 24 hours, showcasing your property as undesirable, or doing something that could harm others (e.g., keeping hostile or dangerous animals loose during showings).

Cool Murphy Law: Don’t leave your bong on the counter. Remember, it is your home, so whatever you have out reflects you to your potential new landlord. We recommend tidying up, taking out the trash, making your bed, and doing your dishes. If a deeper cleaning is requested, ask your landlord to cover the cost in exchange for your cooperation in scheduling open houses and showings.

We remind you that everyone viewing your home is accompanied by a licensed and insured real estate professional. While it is unlikely anything would happen to your home or belongings, renter's insurance can provide peace of mind. It's often less expensive than you think. Put away cash, valuables, prescriptions, and personal items. Anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to see should be tucked away for photo day and showings.

Remember, Cool Murphy Law is not state or federal law. These suggestions are ways we go above and beyond to minimize disruption to tenants and maximize everyone's right to peaceful possession and peace of mind.

5. What About My Security Deposit and Utilities?

Louisiana/NOLA Law: Your security deposit should transfer with the sale of the property. Utility transfers also happen following the close of the sale. If the utilities are in your name, nothing should change. However, if they are not, make sure to inquire and ensure your landlord has thought this through.

Cool Murphy Law: We stay on top of the landlord, the new buyer, and their agent to make transitions smooth. This includes sharing leases, making a plan for deposit and key transfers, and coordinating which utilities need to be transferred to whom and when, so your day is uninterrupted, closing day or not.

Setting Expectations for What Happens Before and While Your Home is Listed

Pre-Listing Phase

1. Notice of Sale: Your landlord will notify you of their intent to sell the property. This is typically done through written communication. They should provide you with information about the timeline and any upcoming showings.

2. Realtor Walk-Through: The realtor team will likely walk through the property to better understand what they are selling. This is often, but not always, done with the owner present.

3. Photography Day: The realtors will bring a media team to take all the photos (and sometimes videos) they need to sell the home.

4. Other Preparations: Additional prep work may include contractor repairs, obtaining a pricing opinion from a licensed third party like an appraisal, and taking measurements of rooms.

5. Signage: Signs will be hung to indicate that the property is for sale.

Listing-Active Phase

1. Preparing for Showings: Once the property is listed, there will be showings for potential buyers. Your landlord or their real estate agent will coordinate these showings with you. They are required to give you at least 24-hour notice, and the showings should be scheduled at reasonable times.

2. Open Houses: There may be scheduled open houses where multiple potential buyers view the property at the same time. These are usually planned in advance, giving you ample time to prepare.

3. Communication: Throughout the process, open communication with your landlord and their real estate agent is crucial. Keep them informed of any specific needs or concerns you may have to ensure a smooth experience.

4. Maintaining the Property: While it is your home, maintaining a clean and tidy environment can positively impact the sale. Simple actions like tidying up, making your bed, and taking out the trash can make a difference.

In-Contract Phase

1. Inspections and Appraisals: If an offer is made and accepted, the buyer may request inspections and appraisals. You will be notified of these appointments, and similar to showings, they should be scheduled at reasonable times with proper notice.

2. Final Walk-Through: The buyer may conduct a final walk-through before the closing to ensure the property is in the agreed-upon condition. This usually happens in the last five days up to and including the day the home sells.

3. Preparing for Move-Out: If the sale goes through and you need to vacate, coordinate with your landlord on the timeline and process for moving out. Make sure you understand your obligations and any potential costs associated with moving out. If you could benefit from relocation assistance from a super cool real estate agent, let us know.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Experience

  • Pets: If you have a friendly pet, we’d love to meet it and make it comfortable. It's best to take it with you when you leave for showings and open houses. If this is not possible, consider a crate for showings or boarding/daycare.

  • Working from Home: If you have 1-2 recurring meetings at the same time each week, let us know so we can do our best to avoid those times.

  • Shift Work: We can't guarantee all showing times will be convenient, but we can push for times that suit atypical sleep schedules. Let us know in advance.

  • Illness or Vulnerability: If you have an immune disorder or other condition, please let us know. We are happy to wear masks, remove shoes, and take other precautions to keep your home safe. We will also convey this to anyone touring the home.

  • Child or Infant: If you have a baby on a sleep schedule or a child at home, let us know so we can be sensitive to your routines. While not every showing will be ideal, we can make efforts to accommodate where reasonable.

The Bottom line?

Open communication helps, as does an open mind. With the right mindset and a good rapport with your current landlord and realtor, you can turn a frustrating situation into one that's much easier to manage.

At Cool Murphy Real Estate, we want the process to go well for everyone. Our job is to sell homes, and we are hired to do that. We are licensed, trained professionals, and that doesn't mean we don't respect others. The opposite is true. We go beyond—within reason—to make it work for everyone involved. We're big believers in a win/win/win.

We also want you to know that a for sale sign doesn't necessarily mean an end to anything. Every situation is unique, and we treat every client, every tenant, and every property with care. So, if your landlord may be thinking about listing your place, you should know your rights and know to have them contact Cool Murphy Real Estate, where we take pride in doing what we can to make sure everyone has the best experience possible.

If you need more information or assistance, feel free to contact us Cool Murphy Real Estate. We're here to help. You can find this author/broker's contact information below.


Voted Neighborhood Favorite by Nextdoor, Team Cool Murphy is a top-producing, licensed real estate team based in New Orleans, brokered by Cool Murphy, LLC.

Celebrated for her next-level creative approach to real estate, Elisa Cool Murphy is an award-winning, top-performing real estate broker in New Orleans and the founder of Cool Murphy Real Estate.

Contact Her -

Facebook: @homeinneworleans

IG: @coolmurphynola

YouTube: @coolmurphynola

phone: 504-321-3194

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