Can you sell a house with a tenant still in it?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | Real Estate |

You own two homes, and you rent one out. You used to live there, but you simply kept it as a rental property when you bought your new house. You thought that being a landlord would be a nice way to pay your new mortgage.

Unfortunately, you’re just too busy to keep doing it, and you’re interested in selling that first house and moving on from the landlord lifestyle. Are you allowed to sell the house if you still have a tenant living in it?

Considering the lease agreement

The most important thing to do at this point is to consider what the lease agreement originally stated to that tenant. If they’re on a month-to-month basis, for instance, you typically just have to give them notice that you’re going to sell and then they have to leave when you do.

If they’re on a long-term lease, however, then it may be a bit more complex. If you’re looking to sell to another potential landlord, it may be as simple as letting the lease exchange hands. But if you’re looking to sell to a family who wants to move into the house, then you may need to wait until that lease expires or ask the tenant if they would be willing to move out. In some cases, landlords put a clause in saying that they can terminate the lease early if they decide to sell the property. If you did that, you can simply execute that clause and the tenant has to leave.

These situations do tend to get a bit complicated, so be sure you’re aware of your legal rights. You need to know exactly what options you have and what steps you are allowed to take.