If you're a landlord or thinking about becoming one, it's important to know what you're getting into. When it comes to selling your property, it may not be as easy if there are tenants living within the home. Here are a few things to consider if you want to sell a property in Alberta with occupied by tenants.
Work With Your Tenant, Not Against Them
Check and see if your tenant is possibly interested in purchasing the home before putting it up on the open market. Even if they're currently enjoying a very affordable rental rate, they may love the home so much they're willing to get a mortgage in order to continue living in it. Even if your tenants are not interested in making a home purchase right now, aim to work around their needs and limitations rather than taking an antagonistic attitude. Waiting an extra month or two so they can secure another place to live will result in them leaving on good terms, eliminating the risk of retaliatory damage or other issues that will further slow down the sale of the home. Even though you can sue the tenants if they do something like that, it'll still take months to settle the case and repair the home before it can be sold.
Provide a Notice Vacate
When you have tenants on a fixed-term lease, you may not be able to break it with a notice to vacate, regardless of the purchase agreement or the lease. You will have to wait until the lease term is up.
However, if you have tenants on a month-to-month lease, you can give them a notice to vacate and write into the purchase agreement the same terms so they are out before the new buyer takes possession. Most of the time, you do have to give 90 days' notice to your tenants on a month-to-month least.
Getting Good Pictures
When you sell your home with tenants still in it, you may find it difficult to get pictures. You will need to get their permission in writing to take the picture, especially if their possessions will be in the pictures.
As you go through this process, make sure you do everything you can to protect their privacy. You may also want to encourage them to remove personal photos, expensive items and utility bills before you come in and take pictures.
Showing the Home
It can be tricky to show a home tenants are living in. However, your tenants cannot refuse a showing, except on holidays, after 8pm and on religious worship days. Even if they want to sit at home and pout, they cannot keep you from showing the home.
A great way to reward your tenants for putting up with your showing the home is simply by giving them a $5 gift card to Tim Horton's or Starbucks and a thank you note every single time you do a showing. You can pass these along to your real estate agent, if necessary.
Another thing that can help get your tenant on board is to give them more than the required 24-hour notice. Work with them and find out what days and times of the week work best, and then schedule your showings during these times.
What if you have a Buyer?
Maybe you get a buyer, but you need to get the tenants out faster than you would like. You can help them find a new place, offer yourself as a good reference and even offer them some cash to leave. Maybe if you pay their new security deposit and first month's rent in a new place, you can get them out faster, if necessary.
These are just a few tips to help if you are selling a property occupied by tenants. Make sure you take their needs into consideration and do your best to work with them.
By Justin Havre