As a letting agent in Bishop’s Stortford, this is something I am asked a lot; “can I sell the property even though there’s a tenant in place”?
There are, in essence, a couple of different options here, but the short answer is “yes, you can”.
The first thing you may want to consider is selling the property to another landlord. This would be the easiest, best option for both you as a landlord and for the tenant (and me as a letting agent if I happen to manage the property for you!). Another landlord may be very attracted to the property if you already have a tenant in situ, and it could be a smooth transition from one landlord to the next. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t do this at any point in the tenancy. In fact, at The Personal Property Shop, we have managed to facilitate this many times over the years. Occasionally, our landlords do need to sell and we can often facilitate a sale to another landlord and manage the process for them. As the letting agent we can ensure a smooth handover and there will be no disruption to the tenant either.
Things may be slightly more complicated if you’re not able to sell your property to another landlord, but it’s still feasible. The first thing to consider is whether your tenant is within a fixed term agreement or whether they are on a rolling “periodic tenancy”. If it’s the former, then you will need to wait until the last 2 months of the tenancy agreement before you can start undertaking viewings at the property. Tenancy agreements state as standard that the landlord or letting agent can arrange viewings in the last 2 months of the tenancy, either for sale or for let. You will need to give your tenant adequate notice (a minimum of 24 hours) to gain access for a viewing, and they will have to give their permission for you to enter the property. Normally, you will not exchange contracts on the sale of the property until the tenant has physically left, so you can be sure to provide vacant possession on completion.
If your tenant is within a period tenancy, then it’s easier in the sense that you can begin viewings immediately. You will still need to ensure you give the tenants notice etc, but you don’t have a fixed term so there’s no waiting until the last 2 months of the tenancy. If you can sell to another landlord, in either scenario it’s going to be much easier. If this is something you are considering, then feel free to get in touch and I may be able to help. I can offer a no sale, no fee proposition so you won’t have anything to lose – if I can find another landlord to purchase your property then great, if not there’s no fee to pay.
Angela Westgarth, director of The Personal Property Shop – letting agents in Bishop’s Stortord
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