Selling Your Rental Property Fast: What To Do When a Tenant is Involved

Here’s a question we hear landlords selling a house ask all the time: “What do I do if renters are living in the home?” There are both practical and legal considerations when selling a house or property, so it’s important for landlords to educate themselves on the sale process before endeavoring to sell their properties. Landlords should take into account not only their own rights, but also their tenant’s rights under the rental/lease agreement during the sale process.

When it comes to selling a rental property, tenants’ rights include the following:

  • Tenants are entitled to carry out the terms of their leases, which means they are not allowed to be evicted prior to their lease expirations (unless the tenant is not paying, in which case the landlord has the right to evict); and
  • tenants must be notified by their landlords in writing 24 hours (in some jurisdictions, 48 hours) prior to a showing.

Please note that laws vary by jurisdiction and the above summary of tenant rights is not to be construed as legal advice. Please consult a lawyer if you have any questions about your rights as a landlord or tenant.

Swift Homes Pro Tip: It is in the best interest of the landlord (the seller) to keep records of all notifications and correspondence.

A tenant may also try to purchase the rental property that they live in, but it is important to note that their bid is typically treated the same as any other bid received by the seller because they do not have any legal priority in the bidding process.

Although not every buyer is interested in purchasing a rental property, many buyers who do want to purchase an investment property consider it a benefit when a tenant is already in place. Swift Homes will buy your property vacant or tenant occupied.

The following are factors to consider when evaluating whether it’s a good time to sell an investment property with a tenant in place:

  • Terms – With month-to-month lease tenants, landlords looking to sell their properties simply need to give their tenants the correct amount of notice as required under state law. If a landlord has a tenant with a longer lease, it might make sense to wait until the lease ends before selling the property.
  • Type of Property – If the rental property resides in a complex with many other renters, or is in an area boasting a good number of renters (such as a college town), it is likely that there are a good amount of potential buyers who won’t mind a current tenant leasing out the property.
  • Tenant (and State of the Tenancy) – A tenant who does not maintain the property well, isn’t responsive to communication, or is just generally hard to deal with usually makes a landlord’s selling efforts more difficult. A tenant who is neat, clean, responds to communication attempts (including showing requests) and who is willing to assist in the sale process will help a landlord sell their rental property more quickly and seamlessly.

For more information about selling your rental property fast when tenants are involved, contact Swift Homes today!

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