Selling a rental with tenants

How to decide what rent to charge

You have decided to sell a property, but it currently has tenants, what is the best way to go about things so you can sell the property while also keeping your tenants (relatively) happy?

If your tenant has signed a fixed lease, you can’t make the tenant leave because you have decided to sell. The tenant can remain until the end of the lease, and the new owner will then become the lessor. Be aware of your state’s laws when it comes to selling a property within a two month period of the tenant signing the lease. If they were unaware that this was your intention, then the tenant may have the right to end the lease with 2 weeks notice.

When you make the decision to sell your rental, your tenant will most probably still be living there when you list it. This means they need to make sure the house is show-ready all of the time.

What can you do to make the process easier for everyone?

Inform your tenant ASAP

If you have a tenant living there, the most important thing you need to do is tell them that you are putting it on the market and what you expect of them. You have to be open and upfront with them at all times about what is going on and when they can expect people to come and view the property. Scheduling Open Homes in advance will help them plan but they must also understand that potential buyers may call in at any time.

There are a few ways you can liaise with your tenant when it comes to showing potential buyers the property. You can let them know that the property will be open on a specific day and time for open home inspections, or tell them you will only show the property when a convenient time has been arranged with them.

Start getting organised

You may advise your tenant to start tidying up. They more they can pack now the easier it will be when they have to move. Even if they aren’t ready to actually start packing, they should go through all their belongings and get rid of everything they don’t want. Getting rid of stuff now will make things less stressful when the time does come to move. This will make their space much more comfortable too, especially if they don’t have much to clean on a daily basis.

Put personal items away

All flat surfaces such as benches and coffee tables should be clear when a property is on show. It may be more convenient to pay for storage somewhere to keep things that aren’t used much. Keep basic necessities on hand and put everything else away. Also, keep living areas clean and tidy. Anything that isn’t using on a daily basis must go. It is a good idea so get this done ASAP so a photographer can come and take listing photos. Check your state laws because it could be a requirement to have written consent from the tenant before taking photos.

Have you ever sold a rental while the tenant was still living there? What do you recommend people do to make this time less stressful for everyone involved?

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