I’m thinking of selling my rental property. What obligations do I have to my tenants?
Property Clinic: Landlords must respect the legal rights of sitting tenants when disposing of buy-to-lets
Landlords should provide tenants with a notice of termination when selling an investment property. Photograph: Getty Images/Image Source
I have been letting a property to the same young professionals for approximately four years. I am considering putting the house on the market. I was looking for some general advice/information on my obligations and things to consider if I were to sell? I would much prefer to leave them in situ if possible. The house is well-maintained by me and kept very tidy by the tenants.
You can refer to the Residential Tenancies Board Ireland website rtb.ie under “Notices of Termination” which outlines what is required of you, as landlord, if you are considering selling your rented residential property.
As your tenants are there for approximately four years you need to issue them with 180 days’ notice. You will need to serve your tenants with a “Notice of Termination- Landlord intends to sell the Dwelling”. This must be accompanied by a “Statutory Declaration for Landlord intending to sell the dwelling” signed by a solicitor. This will be accompanied by a “Notice of Termination” form.
There would be a much lower market demand for a property with tenants in situ without vacant possession. You will be looking to sell to an investor who will require the maximum return on their investment.
Are you currently achieving full market rent? If your property is located within a rent pressure zone, then the rent would be capped at 4 per cent per annum. Was the rent increased recently? If you are not achieving full market rent, then your sale price expectation will be severely compromised if you really want to leave your tenants in situ.
You will achieve full market value for the property if sold with vacant possession.
If you are selling with vacant possession (recommended) and as your tenants would appear to be keeping the property well and tidy, then arrangements can be made with your tenants regarding the viewing times unless you want to sell after the tenants have left.
Ideally it would be better to have the house vacant when putting the property on the market as prospective buyers may have concerns about whether the tenants will leave on time and will the property be left in good condition as viewed. If the house is presented as vacant then there would be no potential issues. – Roger Berkeley
Roger Berkeley is a chartered residential surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, www.scsi.ie