First Time Working with a Tenant

5 Replies

I am a Realtor in Vermont. I will be listing a home for a client but they have a person that is currently renting the property. The owner is lives several hours away and has asked me to take care of the exit process. The tenant is a good tenant who has paid their rent on time and has been informed that the property is going up for sale. I have never done something like this before so I was hoping one of you experienced land lords could guide me on a procedure. Here is what I have so far

Meet with Tenant and walk through property

Get  the keys from the Tenant after we discuss what we found in the walkthrough.

Give the tenant their damage deposit minus anything that we should charge them for (as discussed in step 2.)

Is there anything I am missing?

are they still within their lease, or have a clause stating a notification period to renew or end the lease?

how is this being sold, as a rental, or to someone who will make it their primary residence?

if they are still within the lease, I think most states would say that the lease is still in effect after the property sale.

if damages are greater than the security deposit, you may also want to take photos, as they come in handy if you need to go to court. 

If you're terminating the lease or rental agreement, look up the Vermont laws regarding terminating a lease and the security deposit laws, and follow them.

And talk to them about how you can sell them a house, so it doesn't happen again to them :-)

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@Anthony Micklus  Hi Anthony - in VT, as others have mentioned, if the lease is still in place, then it transfers with the sale unless they're being bought out of the lease.  Normally the security deposit would transfer to the new owner as well if the lease remains in place.

If the lease is ending before the sale, yes, you would do a walk through and have to provide the security deposit back and an itemized list of any deductions within 14 days after the end of the lease.

Hope that helps!

- Tom

@Anthony Micklus  Also Anthony, don't forget to adj for heating fuel.  If the tenant is responsible for heating oil  / propane you have to account for that at move out.  For example, if they moved in with a full tank and moved out with 1/2 tank, you have to account for that (deduction from the security deposit).  Or vice versa.  If it's natural gas, or the owner covered the heat, then you generally don't have to worry about it.

- Tom