If you’re wondering whether selling a property with tenants is a good idea or even legal, then don’t worry. Here at Mistoria Estate Agents Cheadle, we have decades of combined experience and the latest industry knowledge to help you make the right property decisions. Below, we explore how selling a house with tenants works and whether you should consider putting your tenanted property on the market.
Can you sell a house with a tenant in it?
Legally, yes, you can sell a property with a sitting tenant. For many investors and landlords looking to purchase a buy-to-let property, this can be an ideal arrangement. The tenants will be able to remain until the end of their fixed term, the only difference being a change in property ownership.
Instead of paying rent to the previous landlord, they will pay the new landlord or buyer. Whether the tenants continue to reside at the property after their initial tenancy will depend on the preferences of the new landlord and current tenants. In fact, there are many considerations to bear in mind before committing to selling your property while tenants are living there.
Considerations when selling property while a tenant lives there
To help you decide whether selling your property with a tenant in situ is the right choice, we’ve explored a few of the most important considerations below. From how having a sitting tenant affects viewings to whether you can legally evict your tenants, we find out everything you could want to know about listing a tenanted property.
Notifying your tenants
You’ll need to let your tenants know that you intend to sell the property. Out of courtesy, you should always contact them first. Letting them know why you are selling could help them to understand your situation or even persuade them to buy the property themselves.
Even if they are not in the financial position to do that, they may have been living at the residence for years or even decades, providing them with notice and an explanation is often the best way of keeping your tenants agreeable when asking them to vacate their home. Alternatively, you could offer them reassurance by only agreeing to sell to another landlord or investor that intends to carry on renting the property to the current tenants.
Picking the best buyer
If you are selling a rental property to a landlord that wants to continue leasing the property, then the tenants shouldn’t object to this arrangement. If you are selling to a residential buyer that would like to live in the property, on the other hand, this may cause a problem. That is because tenants have the right to remain in the property for the entire fixed term.
If you do decide to sell to a residential buyer, then you will either need to wait until this fixed term has come to an end and the current tenant vacates the property or sell the property to the buyer with the understanding that they will only be able to live in the property once the current tenant’s agreement has finished. This could be any period of time, but many fixed-term contracts are often six to 12 months.
While a landlord of a tenanted property can hold viewings for buyers or even new potential tenants, they must provide the current tenants with at least 24 hours’ notice. However, it’s worth noting that tenants can still refuse entry to the landlord even with this notice – the only exception being in case of emergencies such as fires or gas leaks. Ensuring you have an open and honest relationship with your tenants is therefore paramount to smoothly selling your tenanted property.
Eviction is not an option
Before taking any action to sell a tenanted property, it’s worth bearing in mind that tenants cannot be evicted simply because you want to sell the property. Instead, it’s often best to discuss your plans with the tenants to ensure they are cooperative and allow access for viewings. Without the tenants on your side, you may find it more difficult to sell the property.
Furthermore, a tenancy should only ever be ended using the correct legal procedures. The landlord can either serve the tenant a possession order (under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988) at the end of their tenancy agreement or come to a mutual agreement with the tenant. However, if you decide to sell your property (with or without tenants), seeking up-to-date and relevant legal advice first is always best.
Should I sell my property with a tenant living in it?
Ultimately, selling a property with a sitting tenant can be a fantastic opportunity for investors and landlords alike, thanks to the immediate guaranteed income. Walking straight into an investment that is already creating good returns is often the best-case scenario for many experienced property investors, but despite this ideal situation often leading to a quicker and easier sale, this isn’t always the case.
The pool of landlords and property investors willing to take on a tenanted property is much smaller than the pool of residential buyers. Subsequently, you may be waiting longer if you want to sell your property with tenants as residential buyers will likely want to move straight in. However, if you do obtain the interest of an experienced investor, these transactions are often quicker as they’re based on the information and not emotion – ideal if you want a speedy and fuss-free sale!
Sell your property with Mistoria Estate Agents
Considering selling your tenanted property? With a hand from the friendly, experienced and highly knowledgeable team at Mistoria Estate Agents Cheadle, we could help you to get the best price for your property! Collectively, we have decades of letting and sales experience alongside plenty of local knowledge to source, sell and let a wide range of housing and investment opportunities.
To find out more about how we can help, why not pay our branch a visit on Church Road or give us a call on 0161 519 9554 to speak to an expert member of our team? Alternatively, you can always send us your enquiry by emailing us at email@example.com or filling our online contact form! Simply fill in your basic contact details along with your enquiry, and one of our estate agents will be in touch soon to discuss your requirements in more detail.