When selling a house that is empty, there are not as many details to consider as when you put an occupied house on the market. If a house has no tenants, it’s easy to stage with some furnishings and you don’t need to worry about organising viewings as its empty and straightforward to schedule. You can sell a house while it is occupied by renters, but it’s very important to do it in the correct way since you and the tenant both have rights and responsibilities. Here are a few of the most common questions asked by property owners who need to know how to sell a house with tenants. Is it legal or can I sell a house with tenants?
When selling a house that is empty, there are not as many details to worry about as when you put a tenanted house on the market. If a house has no tenants, it’s easy to stage with some furnishings and you don’t have to worry about as many details to schedule regular showings. Although it can be done, you can sell a house while it is occupied by renters, but it’s very important to handle it correctly since you and the tenant both have rights and responsibilities. Here are a few of the most common questions asked by property owners who need to know how to sell a house with tenants.
Is it legal or can I sell a house with tenants?
It can be better to wait until a tenancy expires before putting a property back on the market. You are not obligated nor required to renew a tenancy on expiry. In some cases not renewing the tenancy can be the best option, especially if a tenant is not happy about you selling the property. They can cause difficulties by prolonging the sale for a year or more by sabotaging your efforts. They can make it difficult to show the house, or leave it in a mess. But it is legal to sell a house while the tenants are occupying the property, it can actually be beneficial to the sale of the house. Usually, when a tenant becomes aware of the sale, they will immediately start looking for another home. You can also help incentivise the tenant by lowering their rent for a month or two before viewings begin. Having someone in the home during showings can be more effective when showing the home than showing an empty home, if the property is presented correctly.
Do I have to evict tenants before selling the house?
You may be wondering, do I have to evict tenants before selling my property? This is a common question and in some instances it makes perfect sense. Its important to look at the tenancy and the specific language it uses about giving eviction notices or how it mentions the possible sale of the house. The tenancy may state directly how much notice must be given to tenants in the case an eviction is involved in the sale of the home. However, it is not necessary to evict tenants before selling the house. A typical house, in good condition and without complications will sell in around 12-16 weeks which often allows sufficient time to give notice, unless the tenant is in the fixed term of their tenancy. If this is the case there may be some complications. There are some instances where the buyer is willing to keep the tenant that is in place at the time of the sale, but these are less common than a buyer who wants to live in the home. It will all depend on the specific situation, but tenants do not have to be evicted before the house is sold.
Do I have to inform tenants I am selling the house?
Property owners may have numerous reasons for wanting to sell their property. And since it’s their property, they can sell it whenever they want. Many still ask do I have to inform tenants I am selling the house? If you have tenants in a home you are wanting to sell, it is ideal if you can get them to cooperate with the process. Tenants do have certain rights while living in rented properties and one of them is the right to “quiet enjoyment” free from harassment. Property owners will benefit from open communication with the tenants when putting a tenanted property on the market for sale. You will need the tenant’s cooperation when you start showing the house or property to potential buyers so you need to ensure tenants are kept informed about what is going on at all times. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open by informing tenants you are selling the house.
Should I inform the tenant in writing; or can I just tell them of my intentions?
It can be a mistake to only inform a tenant verbally of your intentions to sell the property they are occupying. Since tenants have certain rights, they can complicate the process or even hold it up by saying they did not know. It’s best practice to put the notice in writing and ensure you have proof they received the message. No one likes to be surprised by these types of events that have such a huge effect on their lives and the tenant might not act favorably if an estate agent arrives at the property telling them their home is being put on the market for sale.
Can I show the home if it is occupied by tenants?
Yes, you can definitely show a home with tenants. You must give the proper notice to tenants as outlined in their tenancy before you enter the property. By keeping communication with the tenant open, you can find what times work best for both you and them. This can make the process go more smoothly for all parties concerned. It is best to speak with the tenants when making appointments and follow up in writing with an email or letter. Its important that you follow the prescribed requirements of your tenancy when issuing these notices.