Selling a House With Tenants In Florida

Are you a landlord selling a house with tenants in Florida?

Selling a rental property in Florida isn’t always easy. Depending your lease and the tenant’s willingness to cooperate, the sale can be incredibly frustrating.

The good news is you can take control and simplify the process.

rental property in florida
Selling a tenant occupied house in Florida can be a headache. Simplify the process in few steps.

You’ll want to make the transition as easy as possible when selling a tenant occupied house whether it’s as far south Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, or Palm Beach, or north towards Jacksonville and Tampa.

Let the tenants know your intentions and what they should expect. If they wish to stay in the home, look for a buyer who will welcome the idea of buying will tenants. Someone who will honor the lease and make the transition invisible to the tenant.

That said, it is business. If you are losing money or need to sell for other reasons, don’t hold on to the property longer than you have to.

Learn more about selling a property with tenants in Florida in the video below and the blog post by Earl from the House Heroes Team!

Selling a House With a Tenant in Florida

We Buy Houses With Tenants!

Call Us (954) 676-1846 or Fill Out This Form For Your Offer.

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Tenants Rights

tenants rights in florida
Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment and notice. Learn about tenants rights in Florida to ensure an ethical sale.

Get familiar with the tenant’s rights before selling a house with tenants in Florida.

The rights and duties of tenants and landlords are guided by the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

According to the Community For Services:

A tenant has certain basic rights protected by Florida law, which the landlord must observe. A tenant is entitled to the right of private, peaceful possession of the dwelling. Once rented, the dwelling is the tenant’s to lawfully use. The landlord may only enter the dwelling in order to inspect the premises or to make necessary or agreed-upon repairs, but only if he or she first gives the tenant reasonable notice and comes at a convenient time.

In other words . . . you can’t just barge in on the tenant.

If you selling a rental property occupied by tenants in Florida, you will need to show the property to prospective buyers. Tenants are entitled reasonable notice before buyer walkthroughs and inspections.

Are you asking the tenant to vacate the proper prior to closing your sale?

Florida law varies depending on if the tenant is “month to month” [no lease] or currently under a lease agreement. If the tenancy is from month to month, a landlord may not terminate it by giving less than 15-days’ notice (see Section 83.57 of Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act).

One best practice is to give your “month to month” tenant a lease termination letter to formally give clear notice. This helps avoid disputes or confusion. See this sample below:

lease termination letter
A formal lease termination letter can clarify any misunderstanding and get everyone on the same page as to the move out.

If the tenant has a lease, the lease may specify required notice (but it’s still good practice to give as much notice as possible). You may need a termination clause in your lease allowing you to end the lease early.

Selling your house with renters in Florida can be challenging. But if you adhere to the legalities and work with the right buyers, the process can be done quickly and without much disturbance to anyone’s lives.


Sell Directly To A Cash Buyer

sell house with tenant in florida to cash buyer
Selling directly to a cash buyer solves the problem of troublesome showings and non-cooperative tenants.

Cleaning up, marketing, staging, open houses, daily showings . . . these are the steps most owners take when selling a house.

Preparing the house for sale on the open market may prove impossible with a tenant in place.

Selling directly to a cash buyer simplifies the process – there is no need for regular walkthroughs, online listings, or a “long and drawn out” sale. You don’t need to worry about letting in inspectors and appraisers required for buyer using a mortgage.

However, it can be difficult to find a buyer to sell directly to. Regular homeowners are out – they aren’t landlords interested paying for a house they can’t immediately move into. Tenant occupied property also tends to be worn down and need some updates. Regular homeowners want something that doesn’t a bunch of work.

The best bet is to sell the house to a cash buyer or investor [buyers willing to take on a property with tenants present].

Investors often pay more for tenants. They don’t have to do the work to find a tenant or have a period where the property is “vacant” and not producing rental income. Professionals buyers expect to buy property that may need some updates, repairs, or renovations. Investors have the skill and experience to deal with tenants – they are less likely to back out at the last minute.

Wondering “who will buy my house with tenants in Florida?”

Here at House Heroes we regularly purchase properties occupied with tenants. Click here to learn about Our Three-Step Process for buying houses with tenants. Give us a call at (954) 676-1846 to find out what we can pay!

The “For Sale By Owner” Approach To Selling.

Considering selling directly to buyer? This is the “for sale by owner” approach. Owners choose to sell “by owner” to avoid the traditional process of listing the house on the MLS with a realtor. The benefits of a FSBO sale are saving realtor commission, controlling the sale process, and a faster sale. The downsides are less public exposure and not as many buyers see the inside. Check out our “Sell a House By Owner Florida [FSBO Guide]” to learn more about selling on your own ➡️.


Offer Incentives For Cooperation

incentivize tenant to cooperate
Get the tenant to cooperate by offering incentives like a rent break and relocation costs.

If you intend to list the house on the MLS, it may make sense to wait for the tenants to leave.

Selling a house on the MLS requires showings and inspections – which might be impossible with non-cooperative tenants.

One solution is to simply wait to list on the MLS until the tenant leaves. Once the tenants leave the property (and if they left it in good shape!), you can easily show the property to prospective buyers. Regular home buyers will be more open to offers if they can move-in immediately upon buying.

Here’s what the Wilmoth Group had to say about waiting for it to be vacant:

The simple solution is to wait until a lease has ended before putting the property on the market. The challenge of selling a tenant occupied home is often not related to the market, but the tenant. If the tenant is not cooperative toward the selling effort the owner’s options are limited. As long as the tenant is fulfilling the terms of the lease, they have the right to enjoy their residence.

Do you need on-going income from the property to keep paying bills? Keep the cash flow may be necessary to survive financially. In this situation, the goal is gaining the tenant’s cooperation with showings and other parts of the traditional sale process.

Here’s a list of five incentives to get the tenant on board with the sale:

  • Give Them A Break On The Rent! Nothing gains cooperation like putting cash in the tenants pocket.
  • First-Month Rent & Security Deposit At The New Place. The reality is the tenant may need to move when you sell. The tenant may need help with the security deposit and first-months rent at their new place.
  • Moving Costs. Moving isn’t easy – particularly if all the packing and moving has to be done for the tenant. Paying for moving costs makes the process much easier.
  • Help With Relocation Costs. The reality is if a sale goes through the tenant may need to move. Consider helping the tenant with security deposit, first-months rent, and moving costs.
  • Cash For Leaving Now. Need to get the tenants out ASAP and the lease doesn’t allow it? The straightforward solution is to pay the tenant to waive their rights on the lease.

If the seller is sufficiently motivated to cooperate with the sale – open up the topic about how the house should be presented. Suggest they keep the house clutter free with items like jewelry and medication out of the site. No dishes in the sink, dirty laundry, or pets present. You can even make a formal written agreement to make sure everyone is on the same page.

BEWARE: Buyer agents may not bring clients to you house.

Most real estate buyers are represented by an agent. Buyer agents are reluctant to show tenant occupied property to their clients. Coordinating the showing is a hassle if the tenant only allows a narrow time-frame (showings are much easier for vacant or owner occupied houses). Agents risk their client falling into an eviction situation with a problem tenant. Recommending that their clients buy vacant or owner occupied property is the path of lease resistance.


Be Respectful

show tenant respect
Rental property is an investment to you – but the tenant has built their life around the home.

Although it’s your financial investment, the house is your tenants home.

They have built their life around that neighborhood. Being unexpectedly uprooted is an emotional and stressful.

Try to be as respectful and accommodating to your tenants as possible. Tell the tenant you want to minimize any inconveniences. Work with them for the best hours to show the property and how much notice is required.

This will make things easier for them and for you as the home seller.


Sell To Your Tenants

sell to the tenant
The best buyer may be the tenant. Renters pay more to stay in the neighborhood. Selling to the tenant avoids awkward showings and a troublesome sale.

Have you considered selling your house in Florida to the tenants?

Finding a buyer is simple if your tenant is willing and able to buy it themselves. You save time and money marketing your house (and the headaches of dealing with non-cooperative tenants). You also don’t have to worry about making a bunch of repairs.

There aren’t many people who know and love the house the same way you do. If your tenant has been there for a while, they will have likely developed an attachment not only to the house but to the community where they are living. If the house has truly become their home, they may be interested in buying it outright and may pay more than anyone else so they don’t have to relocate.

We recommend taking “10 Steps” when selling to a house to your tenants:

  1. Consider a Real Estate Attorney. A legal consult can help understand the local landlord and tenant laws, as well as how to structure the sale to be mutually beneficial.
  2. Assess Home Value. Owners want to sell at a price that is fair and meets their goals. Getting a sense of the local neighborhood prices helps.
  3. Negotiate Price and Terms. Although you want a certain amount – your tenants may want to pay less. Negotiate price, as well as terms such as inspection period, closing date, and financing contingencies.
  4. Figure Out Earnest Money Deposit. The earnest money deposit shows a commitment to the sale on the part of the buyer.
  5. Consider a “ContractFor-Deed”. A contract for deed helps buyers by-pass the traditional lending process if they can’t qualify. In short, the seller retains legal title to the property until the buyer pays off a specified amount.
  6. Review the Written Offer. Give it an hour or so and review the proposed offer. Pay attention to big terms like the escrow deposit, inspection period, closing date, and contingencies.
  7. Sign the Contract. Once you’ve agreed on price and terms with the tenant, the next step is to sign a purchase and sale agreement.
  8. Order the Title Work. An attorney needs to review the county records to confirm ownership and conduct a lien search for “surprises”.
  9. Consider an Appraiser. Just not sure how much you want for the property? A formal appraisal can point you in the right directions.
  10. Prepare For Closing. Arrange for closing with notification to the escrow agent at a time mutually convenient for all parties.

The perfect buyer for your Florida house with a tenant may be right under your nose!

Rent To Own: Give Tenant a Lease Option!

Does your tenant want to buy but having trouble financing the purchase? A rent to own agreement (“lease option”) can resolve the problem. A lease option provides a renter the opportunity to buy the rented house at the end of an agreed upon time period – typically a year or two. If the tenant can improve their credit and save for a down payment on a future mortgage, it can be a “win win”. You don’t have to remove the tenant but still get good sale price. If the tenant doesn’t qualify at the end of the lease period, you own the house “free and clear” and move on to a new buyer.


Wait For Vacancy

sell house vacant
Can’t get tenant cooperation? Waiting for the property to vacant is a good option.

If waiting is an option, consider holding off on the sale until the lease is up. Then, let your tenants know that they will need to relocate as you will be putting the house on the market. You can give them a heads up ahead of time, letting them know of your intentions. Helping with moving or as a reference can help soften the blow, especially with a long-term tenant. If the sale isn’t needed immediately and you want to spend the time and money on a listing, waiting until the house is vacant will be in your best interest.

Thanks for checking out our blog about selling a house with tenants in Florida. Whether your selling a house with tenants in Miami, Tampa, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, or Jacksonville it can be challenging depending on your situation and who your tenants are. However, when you plan ahead, act thoughtfully, and stick to what the law says, selling a rental property in Florida can be a positive experience.

Want to learn more about the House Heroes Team?

Click here to watch introduction videos and learn about our core values, history, and real estate credentials.


We Buy Houses With Tenants!

Call Us (954) 676-1846 or Fill Out This Form For Your FAIR Offer.

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