If you and the spouse you’re about to divorce are successful landlords with at least one tenant-occupied rental, you’ll need to give thought to how you go about transitioning that occupied property to a new owner.
If you have a good tenant who pays their market-rate rent on time and has never given you any problems, you might want to frame the sale as an investment opportunity with immediate income potential.
If, however, your tenant constantly causes problems, damages your structure, or violates the lease, you may want to proceed with an eviction and sell the property once it’s vacant.
If your tenant has a month-to-month agreement, you can probably safely move forward with a 60-day notice to vacate.
If your tenant has a fixed-term lease, you have a few options:
Courtesy to your tenant is important, but sometimes you just need to get out—and that may take precedence over your tenant’s needs. If your spouse becomes a danger to you or your kids, for instance, you may need to execute the lease’s early termination clause, if it has one.
While you’re juggling the drama of navigating a divorce, separating your jointly held assets, and protecting the kids from strife, you may need to manage your tenants’ emotions, too.
You own the house, of course, but if you have a tenant, that house is their home. Any courtesies you extend to your tenants while showing their home to potential buyers can go a long way toward making the process of selling as painless as possible for everyone (including you) and set the new property owner up for a better relationship with their new tenants.
A few things you can do to make the process go smoothly for everyone:
If you’re selling your property as an occupied rental, you’ll need to provide your tenants with information about their new landlord and, if you can arrange it, make an appointment to bring the landlord over to meet their new tenants.
And always be aware of these tenant’s rights.
If you need to sell your tenant-occupied rental, don’t go it alone. Get help from a qualified real estate divorce expert: