Best Way to Tell Tenant I'm Selling

8 Replies

Hey everyone, 

I have a rental property that I am looking to sell. My tenant is on a month to month lease, but has really settled into the property and has expressed that he intends to live there as long as he can. He is a good tenant in most regards (pays on time, keeps it well maintained, etc.) although he does have a temper at times.  I know that telling him I'm selling isn't going to go over well. I would like to make this process as painless as possible for both of us. Does anyone have any tips to help this go smoothly? Thanks in advance! 

In Corporate America, people who are told bad news (like they're getting laid off) usually go through a three-stage process of shock, panic, and anger. If your tenant has his heart set on living there long term, the prospect of a new landlord, an unknown quantity at this point, might trigger a similar reaction.

I would not offer to sell it. I would simply tell him - in writing - that I am listing the home for sale and the lease will remain month-to-month until it is sold or he chooses to move out.

Don't communicate with him except in writing. If he writes you a nasty letter, file it away and move on. If he tries calling or texting, ignore him or politely respond that you are only accepting written communication because of his temper.

It's your property. As long as you operate within the law, there is no requirement to explain or justify your behavior. If he wants a permanent home, he should make better choices and buy something.

Recently dealt with same situation, month to month tenant there almost 4 years with no intention to move. I called and explained why I felt now was a good time for me to sell. It was an awkward conversation, we negotiated a move out date, yeah I could have been an azzhole and said you have 30 days to GTFO. 

A letter seems very cold, if you are a big company and always maintained a very impersonal relationship, cold is probably fine. 

@Nathan G. and Account Closed Thanks for both of your pieces of advice. I'll have to strike a balance between personally reaching out, and then falling back on more impersonal forms of communications if he does end up getting upset.