How To Sell A House With Tenants In It

Renting a house and being a landlord has its highs and lows. Having that extra cash flow from a rental house every month is nice, but dealing with tenants can sometimes be challenging. If you’re considering selling your house with tenants in Massachusetts, now would definitely be a good idea to do so. The real estate market has been thriving as of late, and you may be able to make a decent profit from the sale of your rental property. However, you’ll need to consider some things before, like if it’s possible to sell the house with tenants attached? Or how to handle making repairs if the tenants left the property abandoned, trashed, or damaged. Below we’ll cover all you need to know and provide answers and helpful tips about selling a rental property in Massachusetts. So let’s get started!

Selling A House With Tenants

rental property with tenants for sale in MA

Can You Sell a House with Tenants In It?

First, it would be helpful to know if you can sell your house with tenants in Massachusetts? The answer is, yes, you can. Circumstances or finances can change, which can involve you wanting or needing to sell your rental property. And to do so you will need to figure out what the terms of the lease are with your current tenant. 

If they are on a month-to-month lease, you should easily be able to sell within a few months without your tenants in the property. If you are in a fixed-term lease of a year, you will need to wait until the lease expires before selling the property or sell with tenants in it. 

To start the process of selling your house with tenants, you’ll need to follow these three steps: notify them, access the property for repairs, and figure out a selling strategy. 

Step 1: Notify Your Tenant

Before you list the property, it’s essential to notify your tenants- regardless if you have a good tenant or a lousy tenant. As a courtesy, you should still inform them you’re selling the house they’re living in currently. You’ll also want to note how you’ll be handling repairs and showings. 

How to Notify Your Tenant with a Month-To-Month Lease

If your tenant is on a month-to-month lease and you’d prefer to sell without them living in the house, Massachusetts landlord and tenant laws require you notify them 30-days in advance of your intentions to terminate the lease. 

How to Notify Your Tenant with a Fixed-Term Lease of a Year or More

If you’re in a fixed-term lease of a year or more, you should still notify your tenants that repairs will be made to the residence and how you plan to contact them regarding showings. You can verbally tell them this information; however, it is best to put it in writing. Although Massachusetts landlord and tenant laws don’t require renewal notices, if your tenant’s fixed-term lease is coming to an end, you should still give them 30 to 60-day notice that you won’t be renewing your lease and they need to move out. 

Step 2: Access the Property for Repairs

Currently, there are no laws in Massachusetts that require landlords to give notice to enter a rental house; however, it would be best to give your tenants a 24-hour notice before entering the residence- which you will need to do before access the condition of the rental property.

Fingers crossed the home is in good shape, and the tenants aren’t destroying the place. When evaluating the condition, you may want to bring a contractor along or hire a home inspector. The home inspector will be able to give you a better idea of what needs to be repaired before listing. You’ll just have to figure out a way to schedule work to be done while your tenant is still living there. 

What if I Don’t Want to Make Any Repairs?

If you’d prefer not to put any more time or money into fixing up the house, you can always talk to a “We Buy Houses in Massachusetts” company. They purchase rental properties and residential houses in as-is condition. So you wouldn’t have to make any repairs or improvements to the place when selling as-is or deal with the cost of all the renovations.

Step 3: Figure Out a Selling Strategy

Once you’ve notified the tenants and figured out repairs, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to sell the rental property. Most people either list with a real estate agent or sell by owner. Both have their pros and cons; both could include commissions. 

The True Cost of Selling a Home

On average, hiring an agent costs 5-6% in commissions upon the sale of the home. Selling by owner will reduce the cost of a seller’s agent fee since you’re doing things on your own, but it could cost you 2.5-3% if the buyer uses an agent. 

That being said, a realtor will handle most of the selling process; however, if you were to sell by owner, you will handle everything. If you’re considering selling a condo without a realtor, click here to learn how. 

How to Sell a House Fast

Unfortunately, neither selling strategy guarantees a fast home sale. So if you’re saying, “I need to sell my house fast in Boston,” you might want to consider selling to a cash home buyer instead. They don’t charge commissions and can complete the closing process in as little as a week or longer if needed. That way, you can sell your rental property with confidence and avoid the extra expenses that come with selling a house. 

Before you finalize anything and officially sell your rental property, make sure to familiarize yourself with local landlord and tenant rights when selling a rental property. That way, when it comes time to sell, you’ll be ready!

Landlords Rights When Selling a Rental Property

Massachusetts is considered a landlord-friendly state; however, it still is vital to know landlord rights, so you don’t cross the line. 

If you have a lease agreement with your tenant and have an early termination clause, or in case of a sale clause, you may be able to terminate your lease agreement legally before the fixed term expires. Usually, the clause indicates that you’ll provide a 30 to 60-day notice before, in writing, so you’ll need to follow the terms precisely. However, if you’re unsure how to proceed or have questions, always seek legal advice from a Massachusetts landlord and tenant lawyer.

If you don’t have an early termination clause or way to break the lease, remember you can sell with your tenants still in it. However, some landlords have tried to take matters into their own hands by using self-help measures to get their tenants to leave. Turning utilities off, changing locks, and moving personal belongings out are not allowed and are not part of Massachusetts’ landlord rights. 

Renters Rights When Selling a Rental Property

Renters have rights just as much as landlords do, so it’s essential to keep those in mind when selling a rental property they are living in. As a courtesy, you should give your tenant 24-hour notice before entering the rental for repairs, inspections, and showing prospective buyers around. Renter’s rights in Massachusetts include receiving a notice to vacate the residence and proper notification of eviction. 

Upon the sale of the home, you should provide written notice as to who the new landlord is, their contact information, where rental payments are to be made, and that the deposit has been transferred to the new owner. For example, in Boston, there are strict rules regarding the deposit during a house sale. Renters rights indicate that the property owner has to give your deposits to the new owner. If they do not, the tenant can sue for up to three times the deposits amount. Furthermore, the new property owner is still responsible for the tenant’s deposit even if they didn’t get it from the previous owner. 

How To Sell a Rental Property in Massachusetts

Honestly, selling a house isn’t easy; add in selling one with tenants attached, and you definitely have a hard sale on your hands. However, there are a few different strategies you can consider using instead of the traditional method. Here are a few different ways you can sell your house with tenants in Massachusetts.

Sell the House with Tenants Attached

Ok, so this is an available option. There are buyers out there who are ok with tenants attached. It will be a hassle to get the property ready to sell, coordinate repairs and showings with the tenants, and find a buyer willing to take on the current lease agreement- but it can be done! Unless you’re dealing with problem tenants, a buyer may see this as a positive that the rental property is already profitable. The fact that they have a good tenant in place and extra monthly income coming in as soon as they buy is definitely a plus.  

Wait Until The Lease Expires

If you’re not really in a hurry to sell your house with tenants, you can always wait for the lease to expire. If you only have a few months left, you can still get started on any major renovations that will take a while to finish anyway. Or if the real estate market is experiencing a downturn or you’re heading into the worst time of year to sell a house, waiting wouldn’t be a bad idea. However, if you need to sell your house fast now, then waiting for the lease to expire may not be a good idea. 

Make Agreement with the Tenant

If the lease isn’t close to expiring or you don’t have a termination clause and would prefer not to sell a house with tenants, why not make an agreement with them to move out early? You may be able to strike a deal with your tenants to move out of the rental property before the lease expires. However, you will have to make it worth their while since they are doing you a favor by moving out early. Some options would include offering to pay for the move, paying the first month’s rent at a comparable place, or covering their security deposit elsewhere. Just make sure whatever you decide to offer is something you can afford so you don’t get into mortgage paying trouble and get the new arrangement in writing. 

Offer House to Tenant

This whole time, you may be worried about finding a buyer for your rental property, and you may already have one living there. Why not offer the house to your tenant to buy? They already live there and take care of the place, so they might be interested in buying it. The only issue, though, is you may not be able to sell it to them right away. They may not be ready to purchase the house and apply for a mortgage. If you offer the residence to your tenants, this may be a situation where you have to wait a few months to sell the home officially. 

landlord selling rental property to a cash home buyer

Sell to a Cash Home Buyer

Another option to sell your house with tenants in Massachusetts is to sell to a cash home buyer. Ocean City Development is a home buyer who buys houses and rental properties in Massachusetts and would be able to help if you’re looking to sell in Worcester and Boston. 

They have an easy home buying process that includes buying houses in as-is condition, no realtor commissions, and even purchasing properties with tenants attached. Since they are one of the No.1 cash home buyers in Massachusetts, they can make you a cash offer within 24-hours and close within 7-days. 

People have found working with a local cash home buyer like Ocean City Development makes the entire process stress-free and less expensive since you’re not paying for costly repairs and agent fees. If you need to sell your house fast in the Massachusetts area, consider working with a cash home buyer like Ocean City Development. 

Final Recommendations:

Honestly, when it comes to selling a house with tenants, you’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops. Just make sure you keep in mind landlord and tenant rights and give your tenant proper notice, no matter how you end up selling the property. The important thing is to stay out of legal trouble and always get the advice of a Massachusetts lawyer if you’re unsure about your landlord rights when selling. However, the good news is you can sell your house with tenants and have options when it comes to selling your property in Massachusetts. 

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