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Selling a property with sitting tenants and want to know what’s involved?


First of all, what is a sitting tenant?

A sitting tenant is someone who is renting a property at the time their landlord decides to sell it. Selling a house with a sitting tenant is sometimes known as selling a house with a tenant in situ.

What are my options when selling a property with sitting tenants?

You can put the property on the market with sitting tenants or you can give your tenants notice to leave and sell your property as vacant (check the tenancy agreement eviction grounds and rules)

Can I sell a property with sitting tenants?

Yes, you can sell your rental property with sitting tenants. You should always inform sitting tenants of your intention to sell before putting your property on the market and explain your reasons for doing so. The buyer will become the new landlord and will have to honour the terms of the tenancy agreement. A change of landlord does not create a new tenancy the original contract stays in place. This means that the length of time you have lived in the property must be taken into consideration with regards to length of notices given to you.

Who informs the sitting tenants of the new landlord?

The new landlord must give the sitting tenants their name and address in writing when they take over the property. The date they must give you their address depends on how often rent is paid. If rent is paid monthly or every 2 months, the new landlord must give their address within 2 months of taking over the property.

What are the pros and cons of buying a property with sitting tenants for the buyer? 

Let’s start with the pros, your property may be more attractive to landlords with good sitting tenants as they won’t have to market the property in order to find a tenant themselves or create a new tenancy agreement plus it’s ready-made income. However, the cons seem to outweigh the pros as a landlord or investor may be less likely to buy a property with a sitting tenant because they do not know whether the tenant is good or bad, what the existing tenancy agreement involves or they are unable to get a mortgage to buy it. The buyer may have other plans for the property, such as living in the property themselves or renovating the property.

How do I end the tenancy agreement and sell my property as vacant?

The Landlord can bring the tenancy to an end only if one of the 18 grounds for eviction apply under the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) agreement.  If the Landlord serves a Notice to Leave on the Tenant, the landlord must specify which eviction ground(s) is being used, and give the reasons why they believe this eviction ground applies.

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