Need to Sell A Rental Property, But Have Long-Term Tenant in Place

Need to Sell A Rental Property, But Have Long-Term Tenant in Place

When to sell a rental property is a question faced by many real estate investors so in this week’s Ask Landlord Hank  he offers some suggestions.

Dear Landlord Hank,

We have a 13-year tenant, on month-to-month, with three children, no father involved. She can hardly afford the rent, which I have kept low as she is a good tenant. The state and an uncle help with the rent. She runs a small day care in the unit. Business has been very slow the last couple of years. I need to sell, but what options do I have?


Dear Landlord Don,

It sounds like you’ve been very generous with this tenant for 13 years to allow her to raise her family in your rental.

The property is your rental though, and you have no obligation to continue to allow a tenant to rent from you forever.

If you had a current lease, you would simply let this tenant know that you are selling the unit at the end of her lease and she would not be able to renew.  You’d put it in writing and send it to her by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you’d have proof of delivery.

Since you have no lease and your tenant has a month-to-month tenancy, I would talk to her and tell her the same thing, which is you have no choice but to sell the property and she must vacate. Since she has been a good long-term tenant, I would give her some extra time to find a new place.

Ultimately, you may have to evict the tenant if she won’t leave voluntarily. If the property looks good you could also try to sell it with the tenant in place.

All of this above advice is dependent upon compliance with your state’s current laws regarding eviction protection due to the pandemic, and whether your property falls under the Cares Act.


Hank Rossi

Ask Landlord Hank Your Question

Ask veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi your questions from tenant screening to leases to pets and more! He provides answers each week to landlords.

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Need to Sell A Rental Property, But Have Long-Term Tenant in Place

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I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta.