Can You Show Your Rental Home When You Have a Tenant?

| May 10, 2013 More

family leaving rental house

By Tracey March

There are only a few circumstances in which a landlord may enter an occupied rental property, and one of them is to show the property to a prospective tenant or buyer, as long as any notice requirements are met.

However, there are a few things to consider when selling a rental home that has tenants living in it.

First, decide if you want to wait until the property is vacant. Some buyers prefer to see an empty property, and it’s easier for you to schedule showings and make the unit presentable if you don’t have a renter. However, some investment buyers prefer to buy property that already has a tenant so they can receive rental income immediately. So you have to determine which buyer you’re marketing to.

Second, if you decide to list and show your rental home while it has tenants, you need to consider them. If they have no idea you’re planning on selling the place, it’s likely they’ll feel somewhat put out. If that’s the case, they may not be too motivated to spruce the place up for showings, especially if they think they’ll have to leave the rental sooner than they planned. Let them know that they have the right to stay until the end of the their lease, regardless of who owns the property, provided that they comply with the lease agreement. After that, whether or not they remain is up to the new owner.

If you know in advance that you’re going to sell your rental think about disclosing your plans to incoming tenants. Consider making the lease month-to-month after the planned listing date to give the eventual buyer flexibility. Also consider stating in the lease that the tenants agree to give realtors full access to the property for showings and other listing-related activity, with proper notice.

Related: Top Five Reasons Renters Gripe

Do you have any suggestions for smooth showings with renters in place?

As always, the information provided here is just that–it is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. If you have any particular questions or issues, please consult an attorney.

Category: Lease Agreements, Marketing, Property Management, Tenants

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