Situation from this morning:

  • real estate agent
  • young couple viewing property rented by us

I'm not happy about the apartment because of BLAH, BLAH, BLAH and I was to make the decision again I wouldn't rent.

Is it OK to tell these guys what I know?

I was worried that letting agent will lose their commission...

  • Whether it's okay or not might first of all depend greatly on where you're from and what the 'normal' practices are when interacting with a real estate agent... Second of all I'm struggling a bit with the situation, are you the one renting the apartment to other people and have you decided to stop doing so/not rent it to these guys and wait for 'better' tenants to rent to?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Jan 13, 2018 at 11:30
  • @Tinkeringbell It sounds like OP is currently renting the apartment (not owner) but will move out, and the agent is showing it to prospective tenants.
    – Em C
    Jan 13, 2018 at 13:17
  • LOL... I was searching SE websites for something related to good manners, politeness, social norms... This one the closest one. Jan 14, 2018 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


It is usual for the current tenant not to be in an apartment when it's being viewed by prospective new tenants. There are lots of reasons for this:

  • new tenants have been known to blurt out things they don't like, which may in fact be your things (your furniture and possessions) or decisions (the colour you painted the living room) making the experience embarrassing for you.
  • you sitting there can prevent them from imagining themselves sitting there
  • you might volunteer information the agent was hoping to hide, such as the noisy neighbours, unpleasant landlord personality, or parking problems on the weekend, that wouldn't be noticed in a single visit.

You don't know the agent or the prospective tenants, so you don't "owe" anyone anything. If you volunteer your information you may indeed cost the agent a commission (or make them show the apartment many more times before getting it) and you may spare this particular set of tenants the trouble of renting this apartment. What you will almost certainly cause is a note next time giving you 24 hours notice to please be out of the apartment between say 2 and 4 pm so it can be shown to tenants. A smart agent would not let the information leak happen twice.

If you would prefer not to have to go find something to do when tenants come to see the apartment, stay quiet. If volunteering everything you know to anyone who might need that information, regardless of your relationship, is part of your moral code, then do it, but understand it will have consequences designed to stop you doing it. Depending on where you live, they might even be more unpleasant than not being home during future viewings.

  • What country are you in? Is it even legal to force a tenant out of his apartment so it can be shown?
    – user3178
    Jan 13, 2018 at 16:46
  • Most North American leases say that the tenant will step out for showings, and that the landlords will give 24 or 48 hours notice of that. I think "force a tenant out" is a bit of an overstatement. I wouldn't want to be there while people were viewing the place, myself. Jan 13, 2018 at 16:52

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