Maybe you want to cash-in on your property’s equity. Perhaps you want to cut your losses, because your rental property isn’t performing as you thought it would. Maybe you’re just tired of being a landlord. Whatever the reason, selling a rental property, especially one that’s still tenant occupied, comes with some challenges. Be that as it may, SellUsHomes is your guide on how to sell your occupied rental property.

AM I ALLOWED TO SELL MY TENANT OCCUPIED PROPERTY?

When it comes to a tenant occupied property, this is a common question. The simple answer is YES. You just have to be respectful of your tenant’s rights. Most jurisdictions across the U.S. give tenants the right to remain in the property for the full term of their lease, even continuing on after the sale has been done. It is important to inform your tenant of your plans to sell the house.

They have the right to know, so they are prepared to have potential buyers walking through the house, and because they may decide to move, when their current lease ends.

The caveat here is your tenant’s lease agreement. Though we’ve confirmed it is possible to sell your property while it’s still occupied, the sales process is a little different than a traditional sale. With tenants, selling involves extra steps depending on the type of lease agreement. With that being said, let’s look into handling tenants with monthly agreements and fixed-term agreements.

MONTHLY AGREEMENTS

If your tenant is living in your property on a month-to-month basis, the first thing you should do is inform them before the sale takes place. If you decide you want to sell the property vacant, or be able to tell a potential buyer the property will be vacant at closing, you’ll want to give your tenant a written letter or notice 30 days prior in respect to the rent due date.  Your tenant has enough leverage on you to delay the sales process. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to approach the tenant with courtesy and respect. 

As the landlord, you are under no obligation to renew your tenant’s lease when it’s about to expire. You may be able to terminate a lease without reason by the end of it’s term, hence a no cause termination. This is one of the main benefits of having a monthly agreement.

FIXED-TERM AGREEMENTS

When it comes to fixed-term leases, they require more attention. Unlike a monthly agreement, the tenant has the right to remain in the property until their lease ends. Here are some options for you when handling a tenant with a fixed-term agreement:

Wait for the lease’s expiration

Probably the easiest solution, is waiting to sell your rental home when the tenant’s lease agreement is expired. At that time, you can let the tenant know you will not be renewing their lease. In cases where your tenant somehow violates any of the terms in the lease, you can terminate the lease sooner, with proper notice. This is only possible if your tenant failed to pay rent, engaged in illegal activities within the property, violated a no pet clause, caused serious damage, or falsified information on their rental application just to name a few.

Sell your property with an active lease

You do not need to wait for your tenant to move out. Communicating with your tenant, and notifying potential buyers will make the selling process smoother. Many investor buyers will like that there is already a tenant in place. This way, when they purchase the property, they will have immediate cash flow. They should also be aware that, once ownership of the property gets transferred to them, they need to honor the tenant’s lease until it’s up. 

Once the sales transaction has been done, your buyer becomes the new landlord. The lease and security deposit are transferred along with the rental property. 

Difficult Tenants

Sometimes, tenants can be difficult, making it hard for a potential buyer to see the interior of the house. They may not allow access, unless they are there, and they may only give limited availability. There are times when a tenant may even refuse to give access to the interior. Unfortunately, they have the right to demand no access when they are not around, or even refuse any entry. This situation can really hinder you selling your tenant occupied house. Communicating, and showing your tenant respect will help greatly. Having a good landlord-tenant relationship would help too. Either way, SellUsHomes can help you deal with a difficult tenant, and sell your house.   

Ways to Remove a Difficult Tenant 

You can provide Cash for Keys. This means that you basically pay your tenant to vacate the property. You can offer to pay for their moving costs. You could pay for their security deposit on a new house. There are several different creative ways to remove a difficult tenant. After all, you want them out, to help your sale. Though not your first choice, paying a tenant to leave may actually save you money by getting your house sold quicker.  

Sell the rental property to your tenant

You may try offering the tenant the opportunity to purchase the property. If the tenant is willing , and abel to purchase, this could make your life easier, as you can save time and money marketing the property. You could also save money from not having to complete repairs, as the tenant already lives in the house. 

A tenant currently living in your property shouldn’t stop you from selling your home; as long as it’s done right. You have to be conscience of your tenant’s rights, and respectful of their space. Good communication with your tenants is key. When all these items are met, you’d be surprised how easy the sales transaction can be Working with a professional can help. It’s understandable for sellers and landlords in this situation to feel a little uncertainty. SellUsHomes wants to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. We can ease your doubts and concerns, and help you reach a smooth and seamless sale. To learn more about our services, contact us at (734) 224-5947 or reach out to us via email at info@sellushomes.com.

10 comments on “HOW TO SELL AN OCCUPIED RENTAL PROPERTY

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