01 Feb What to remember when selling a tenanted property
We were out valuing a rented property the other day for one of our landlords and it occurred to me that there are some additional things to remember when selling a tenanted property. Selling a house can be stressful enough but it can turn into a true nightmare unless you remember your tenant’s rights. I thought I’d share some of the tips that I gave my client.
First of all, you can’t simply kick your tenants out just because you want to sell. You have a signed, fixed tenancy agreement which means that the tenant can remain within the property until the end of the lease, whether that means you wait until the term has finished, or you sell the property and the new owner becomes the landlord. Your tenancy agreement should have a provision to allow you to show potential buyers around the property but you’ll need to give adequate notice. Your tenants have the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ so check the tenancy agreement so check carefully or you could be in breach of contract.
Before anything goes ahead, I always suggest getting an agreement in writing between you and your tenant on how to proceed next. As always, good communication between you and your tenant is key; remember this is their home.
Things your agreement should include:
• An agreement beforehand about what can be photographed to be used as your interior selling photos. Some tenants may want to remove personal possessions such as, family photographs, which they don’t want to be included.
• The landlord or agent should be respectful of your tenants’ working times etc. and arrange viewings only when a convenient time has been arranged with the tenant with at least 24 hours notice.
• Whether or not the tenant will be paying a reduced rent as compensation.
Of course, all of this can be adjusted to your personal preferences. If you (the landlord) chose not to offer the tenants a reduction in rent, then be prepared; the tenant to may make a claim later on. They may keep a record of the number of times the property was viewed and how long they had to stay out of the property for these viewings. These inconveniences may be used to gain compensation for interfering with their rights. But don’t panic, they have to prove that it was substantial for their claim to be successful.
Marketing tips for selling tenanted property
It’s worth bearing in mind that the only buyers that will want a tenanted property are other landlords or investors. By their very nature, they will be looking for a good deal so expect some ‘low ball’ offers. It may be better to wait until the end of the tenancy or break clause and serve notice to the tenant at the appropriate time. By doing this, you might be able to redecorate and attract other buyers.
As ever, get the advice of a professional estate agent on the best way to market and sell your property.
These guidelines will (hopefully) be able to get you through selling your property and handle your tenants professionally. However, if you have any problems, please speak to a property professional who will be able to guide you through the process.