There is a lot of buzz out there in the real estate market about NOW being the time to SELL! If you own a tenant-occupied property, are tired of being a landlord, and wondering if you should be taking advantage of a seller’s market, there are several things you will want to consider.  Having renters does affect the process, so you will want to approach the sale of your property very professionally and very methodically. The attorneys of Staack, Simms, & Reighard, PLLC, the premier real estate law firm in Clearwater, Florida, are ready to advise you on how to best handle your type of transaction, avoid angering a tenant, and steer you clear of costly and time consuming mistakes. Depending on your situation, there are a few different ways to approach the sale.

Month-to-Month Leases

In Florida, to terminate a lease on a property that is being rented on a month-to-month basis, you must notify the tenant with a letter, either by mailing it with a receipt for signature or delivering it in person. Although you don’t need a reason, everything you are demanding must be in writing. You need to date the notice, specify how many days the tenant has before the lease is terminated, and let the tenant know that you will start an eviction process if all possessions are not removed and the key is not returned by that date. 

Keep in mind what your goal is with selling the property, timelines, and any extenuating circumstances with the tenant including your relationship with them. Are they interested in buying the property? If not, do you want to show the property empty, or is it possible to work with your tenant and allow them to show and occupy the property until it is actually sold?  Keeping your tenant advised on the status as any showings, inspections, repairs, or maintenance issues will probably help your transaction go much smoother. Showing the home to potential buyers while an uncooperative renter is still living there is risky, can be uncomfortable for potential buyers, and possibly compromise the sale. There are a lot of variables to consider when dealing with tenants, and having good, clear communication is usually the best strategy. 

It is also possible that your buyer would prefer to have renters and would want to create a new lease with the current tenant. There are a variety of legal issues that will need to be addressed in any case and you want to be sure that you are protected. Unfortunately, sometimes a tenant who is not ready to leave will be uncooperative, so you should be prepared for a number of different reactions, including refusing to vacate.  If that happens, our firm will help you take the necessary legal action. 

Fixed-Term Leases

If the property is being leased on a fixed-term basis, the sale becomes more complex. From your tenant’s perspective, if they are honoring the terms of the lease agreement and paying rent they are expecting to live in the house at least until the lease expires. They may be caught completely off guard.  As a landlord, you can offer to sell the property to the tenant, wait until the lease has expired, sell with the lease still active, or negotiate and pay the tenant to vacate. If you have an early termination clause in the lease you may also see using that as an option, depending upon the terms and situation with the tenant. 

Seek Legal Representation Before You Notify Your Tenant

The sale of a tenant-occupied property does not necessarily have to be adversarial. Selling will go much smoother, if you are fully aware of all the rights and responsibilities for both you as the landlord, and your tenant. Before you take any action, your current lease must be reviewed to the letter. Staack, Simms & Reighard, PLLC has vast experience when it comes to facilitating real estate transactions and protecting our clients in the process. Whether your tenant is cooperative or not, we have the legal expertise and offer viable solutions to resolve landlord and tenant issues. We understand that your asset is important to you, and ensure that your legal and financial well-being is always the priority for us. 

Get experienced legal representation for your real estate transactions. Reach out today.

Staack, Simms & Reighard, PLLC