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How do you sell a property when your tenant is in it?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2021 | Residential Real Estate |

If you own a house or condo that someone is renting, you can’t just sell it if you decide to leave the area, get tired of being a landlord or get an offer for the property you can’t refuse. If you and your tenant have a lease rather than a month-to-month rental agreement, the timing of a sale can be complicated.

The first thing you should do before approaching your tenant is to review the lease agreement to confirm what it says about your rights and obligations if you sell the property. Under Florida law, the sale of the property doesn’t end the lease agreement. That means whoever buys the property is obligated to continue to abide by the agreement until its expiration — unless the lease says otherwise or your tenant agrees to cancel it.

If you don’t have a buyer and you just want to sell the property, you may want to see if your tenant is able and willing to buy it from you. That can simplify things for everyone. 

Timing your sale is crucial

Assuming that your tenant isn’t buying the property from you, determining a timeline can be tricky. You likely don’t want them to move out immediately and lose rent on the property. However, it can be difficult for the tenant to be there while the real estate agent will be showing it to prospective buyers and you’re making repairs or upgrades. 

Under Florida law, a landlord needs to provide a tenant with 12 hours’ notice before entering the property. That can slow things down and potentially cause you to lose offers.

Don’t neglect your tenant’s rights (or feelings)

It’s a good idea to offer your tenant some financial incentives to put up with the inconvenience. You might reduce their rent and/or refund their security deposit. This can help them as they look for a new place to live. It can also help minimize their unhappiness with the situation, which is probably not something you want prospective buyers to witness. Keeping your tenant in the loop can also help your relationship and minimize potential problems.

Selling a property when you have a tenant can be a complicated process. You don’t want to run afoul of your lease or Florida law. It’s a good idea to seek experienced legal guidance to help things go more smoothly.