How To Sell A Home With A Tenant

Published on Aug 2, 2021


To sell a home with a tenant, there are laws to consider to make the sales process go smoothly. Like at any other time during the lease, the tenants' right to privacy is paramount. Once you decide to put a house on the market, make a plan for how and when to communicate with your tenant about the sales process. 

Selling a home with a tenant on a long term lease

The tenant has a right to live in the home for the remainder of the lease even after a property is sold. If they signed a one year lease and there are 10 months remaining on the lease, the new owner will take over the responsibility of the lease. After the lease expires, the new owner can then determine whether or not the tenant can still live there. If they do decide to no longer lease the unit to the tenant, the new owner is required to give the tenant a property 30 day notice. 

Selling a home with a tenant on a month to month lease

With a tenant on a month to month lease, the landlord is required to give the tenant a 6o day notice that the tenancy will end. If the tenant has lived in the property for less than a year, then a 30 day notice is required. Once the landlord has signed a contract to sell the home, they are required to give the tenant a 30 day notice if the buyer intends to occupy the home for at least 12 months after the tenancy ends. A notice must be given no later than 120 days after escrow is opened. 

How to show a property with a tenant

Like any other time a property needs to be entered, there is a requirement to give the tenant ample notice. In order to show the property, a tenant must be giving a notice 24 hours in advance. The property must also be shown during standard business hours. This is usually between 8 and 5 Monday through Friday. If needed, an arrangement can be worked out with the tenants to show the property on the weekends. The 24 hour notices do not need to be in writing as long as the tenant has received a written notice about the intent to sell 120 days prior to the oral notice. 

What happens if the tenant doesn’t leave in time?

The buyer may require that the tenants vacate the property in order to make the sale final. Make sure to give tenants a 30 and 60 notice about when they are required to leave in order to give them ample time to find a place and make plans to move. If there is any trouble when it comes to getting a tenant to vacate a property, you can offer to pay for temporary storage, a moving truck, or help with a security deposit on their new place. If none of this works, consult a lawyer about the legal process for evicting a tenant.

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