Skip to Content

Time to Sell; How to Break the News to Your Renters

Melba Investor Meeting with RentersInvesting in Melba single-family rental homes may begin with buying properties, but it’s important to keep your end game in mind. One of these days, you will want or need to sell your rental homes, and maybe some of them may still be occupied. Selling rental property with existing tenants is not an easy task. Most of your renters will give various reactions to the news, and you likely won’t be able to predict their response. But if you discuss the situation with your tenants in the right way, you can help mitigate some of their suspicions and also get them on board with the selling process.

Getting ready to speak to the tenant about selling a rental house requires some careful planning. It is also necessary to perform some research into local laws. Landlord laws can vary widely from place to place and may place restrictions on property owners looking to sell an occupied rental home. Before you evaluate the subject of selling with your tenant, make sure that you understand the laws in your area and that your next steps do not violate the law or your tenant’s rights. It’s also vital to think about your tenant and what you know about them. This can help you to plan out how and what you say to them more carefully.

Once you’ve got a full understanding of how you want to approach your tenant, it is essential to discuss your plans with them in person. While you can and should notify your tenants about the property’s new status in writing, things will likely go much better if the first time they hear about it is from you directly. If needed, try to schedule an in-person meeting or video conference with your tenant. Explain your plans to sell the house, and then give them a chance to ask questions.

You need to try and anticipate their questions ahead of time so that you have answers ready. Tenants will surely inquire whether they will be forced to move when the property sells, even if their lease hasn’t expired. Possibly, they’re going to ask who will be buying the house, even though you may not know that at first. If you are selling to another investor, try to pass along as much as you know about the new owner’s plans, including whether the new owner will assume the current lease or require new terms. If you don’t already have a buyer, be sure to ask your tenants if they are interested in buying the property themselves. They may really want to stay in the house so badly to the point that they are willing to buy the property from you directly.

Conversations about selling your rental house can be very emotional for your tenants. Finally, selling the home they live in likely means major changes for them. They may also feel resentful or betrayed. Those are unavoidable reactions that you need to overcome. If your tenant does become emotional or upset, do your best to stay calm.

Besides comforting them, try to offer them as much time as you can to adjust to the news of the impending sale. Providing details about the expected time frame can help give your tenant a sense of how the next few months will proceed and allow them to start making any necessary plans. After that, when the development starts to move forward, be sure to send regular updates about the sale and plenty of notice if you need to enter the property with a potential buyer.

If you manage things efficiently and maintain open lines of communication, your tenant may not only accept your plans to sell; they may even be willing to participate in the process. With the proper support and guarantees, your tenant could help make the selling process a smooth and efficient one. However, regardless of how they respond to the situation, it is imperative to respect your tenant’s privacy and to obtain their permission before showing the house.

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with all the tasks and responsibilities of property management? See what Real Property Management Nampa can do for you! Give us a call at 208-960-0660 or contact us online today.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details