Be aware of your tenants’ rights when selling your property

Earlier this year, we discussed the steps you should take as a landlord to deal with your tenants to avoid exposing yourself to legal liability. We noted that landlords must provide their tenants with written notice of their plans to terminate a contract.

You may be wondering what steps you need to take if you plan to sell your rental to a new buyer and you have a long-term tenant in place. You’ll want to read on to see what some of your options may be.

Selling to another landlord

Many landlords assume that a fellow landlord would jump at the idea of purchasing a rented unit or home. That’s not the case with all landlords, though.

Some landlords like to be able to purchase a vacant property and make modifications to it so that they’ll know that it’s safe and up to code before a tenant moves in to reduce their liability. A landlord may also prefer to have the unit vacant so they don’t have to take on an existing lease but can instead negotiate their own.

You may find yourself needing to negotiate a termination of your contract with your existing tenant if your prospective buyer is looking for a vacant property. You’ll need to ensure that you comply with Massachusetts law when terminating your tenant’s lease to avoid litigation.

Selling to an owner-occupant

You may also find that a prospective buyer who wants to purchase your rental plans to be an owner-occupant. This may also warrant you terminating the lease you have with your tenant.

What to do if a lease affects your ability to sell your property

Terminating a lease can be quite involved if you recently entered into the agreement or there’s a long-term tenancy. You may need to weigh having to pay any fees associated with terminating the contract versus delaying the closing on the property.

If you’re a landlord who’s looking to sell an inhabited rental, then you’ll want to weigh the implications of doing so. This will minimize your potential risk of litigation.



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