Are you tired of being a landlord? Or just ready to cash in because the housing market is hot right now in Wisconsin? Unless you’ve timed everything just right and your tenant’s lease is about to be up, you’ll need to find out if you can sell a house with tenants or not.
Even if you can sell a house with tenants, it will be important to give them the proper notice, not only legally but also because it is currently their home. Your lease agreement may cover an early termination clause, but there are tenant and landlord rights that you’ll need to follow too.
So before you consider listing your rental property, you’ll need to know your rights and your tenants and if selling a house with tenants is even possible. Below we’ll cover all you need to know about selling a rental property and how to notify your tenants to make this entire process a success.
How To Sell A House With Tenants In Wisconsin
Renters Rights in Wisconsin
As a landlord, you’ve probably looked into your rights but have you looked over your tenant’s rights in Wisconsin lately? You’ll definitely need to be familiar with that information since you’re entertaining the idea of selling your rental property.
If you have a lease agreement with your tenant, start looking there for information! The terms of the lease will dictate how much notice you must give your tenant to move out or how long you might have to wait to sell your rental property. Figuring out how much notice you have to give will be especially important if you need to sell a house with tenants fast.
Term Lease Agreement
If you have a fixed-term lease agreement with your tenant, that means you and the renter are locked in for a specified amount of time. Typically fixed-terms are usually for a year; however you may have a month-to-month lease term agreement with your tenant. Your lease agreement should indicate which type of lease term you have with them.
If you’re in a fixed-term lease agreement for a year, then you’ll have to wait until the full year is up before selling your property- if you plan to sell without a tenant. But if the year-to-year lease term is about to be up you are required by Wisconsin law to give your tenant a 14-day notice of your desire to terminate the lease.
The good news is if they’re on a month-to-month lease, this will be more favorable to sell your rental fast. However, you’ll have to give your tenant advance notice that you plan to end the month-to-month lease agreement. The laws in Wisconsin require that tenants be given 28-days’ notice of the landlord’s desire to terminate the month-to-month lease agreement.
And for leases longer than a year, the landlord is required to give 30 days’ notice to the tenant.
Term Lease Exception
Since Wisconsin requires a rental agreement for 12 months or more, it is possible that your lease has a property sale clause. This clause contains language that states something like, “in the event of a sale, the current lease agreement will be void once a new owner takes over ownership of the property.” However, you’ll need to find out if this exception would hold up in court. So before you invoke this clause, seek the advice of a Wisconsin attorney.
Another exception would be if you and your tenant mutually agree to end the lease agreement, and your tenant agrees to move out on a specified date (make sure to get in writing). In these cases, the tenant can have some leverage to ask for relocation fees since they’re doing you a favor by moving out.
Handling the Sales Process
Once you figure out your lease terms, you’ll need to decide how you’d like to handle the sale process. If you have a month-to-month agreement, you can easily wait for your tenants to move out to sell the place. However, if you’re in a fixed-term lease of a year and, for example, have 8 months left, you’ll either need to:
- Wait until the term is up
- Enforce the property sale clause
- Work something out with your tenant to relocate
- Sell the property with tenants
- Or sell the property to your tenants
If you do end up selling your property with tenants, you’ll need to figure out the best way to do that and find a buyer willing to take on the current lease agreement.
Selling a House With Tenant Process in Wisconsin
Let’s back up a little bit; you should be able to sell your property with tenants; however, finding a buyer will be challenging, but it can be done! But you may be asking, “what do I need to do to sell my house in Milwaukee?”
Well first, you will need to figure out repairs to the home and get it ready to sell. Ideally, you’ll need access to the property, but with your tenants still living there, it will be hard to coordinate renovations. This is why it’s important to notify your tenants of your intentions to sell the rental property.
Notifying Your Tenants
The sooner you notify your tenants, the better, and here’s why. To you, this is a rental property to your tenant; it’s their current home. If changes are coming or random people are looking at the property, you’d want to know, and so do your tenants. Telling them ahead of time will prepare them for what’s ahead and may encourage them to work with you.
If you have repairs that need to be made to get the house ready to sell, you’ll need them to be ok with workers coming in and out of the property.
However, before you do anything, make sure to give them the proper notice. You are required to provide notice if you wish to inspect the premises and show the property to prospective buyers. So it’s important to share your plans for the place and how you will contact them regarding showings and repairs.
In Wisconsin, landlords must give at least 12-hours notice to enter the home. Notice may be verbal, including leaving a voicemail or in writing.
By letting them know all this beforehand, they can be expecting your call or anticipate that construction will be going on for the next few weeks.
Early Termination Clauses
If you’re still not sure how it’s going to work selling the rental house with tenants, you can always look for a termination clause in your lease agreement. If you have an early termination clause in your contract, you may be able to end the lease early without cause.
Just make sure to take the proper steps and give renters a move-out notice by the date stated in the lease. For example, if the lease terms require you to provide a 30 or 60-day notice for early termination. Don’t forget to follow the lease terms as closely as possible so as not to run into legal issues down the road. For example, if the lease agreement requires you to send an official termination notice by certified mail rather than an email, you’ll need to follow that.
Selling to Your Tenants
If you don’t have an early termination clause, you can always see if your tenants would want to buy the home. They’ve been living there and know the place, so you don’t need to sell them on anything. And they wouldn’t have to move out. The only issue is they would need to be financially ready to purchase the property.
It doesn’t hurt to ask if they would be interested, but they may not be ready to buy anything right away.
Selling to Cash Home Buyers
If it’s looking like you’ll be selling your house in Wisconsin with tenants, another option is to sell to a cash home buyer. Besides buying the property with tenants, they will also purchase it without repairs being made. So you won’t have to worry about making renovations or having to notify your tenant every time work needs to be done.
Selling to a local home buyer is also a great option if you need to sell fast; they can make you a cash offer within 24-hours and usually close on the house within 7 days.
You wouldn’t have to hire a realtor to sell your rental property or list it by owner. They can purchase the rental directly from you -saving you thousands of dollars on realtor commissions.
Homebuyers are even known to help pay closing costs.
Because you’re dealing with a unique selling situation, it could be hard to find a buyer willing to take on your tenants. However, selling to a home buyer maybe your best option.
If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of selling your house for cash, click here for more information.
Paying Your Tenants to Leave
If you’re still unsure about selling the house with tenants, you can also pay for your tenants to leave. Your renters may be open to the idea of breaking the lease and moving out if you offer to pay moving expenses, their security deposit at another place, or the first month’s rent at a comparable home nearby. You’ll just need to make it worth their while since they are doing you a favor by moving out early. This is also known as cash for keys.
Just make sure if you do this to get everything in writing and not to take self-help measures if the tenant doesn’t follow through on their end.
Remember only to offer what you can, don’t overextend yourself financially, do what makes sense for you and your budget.
When it comes to selling a house with tenants, you do have several options, including selling the place to your tenants. But if your tenants can’t afford to purchase the home, you may be stuck selling a Wisconsin property with tenants.
You’ll have to figure out how to handle repairs, showings, and finding a buyer willing to take on the current lease agreement. This will involve a lot of time, money, and effort on your part with no guarantee it will sell quickly. And as soon as people hear the house comes with tenants, your pool of interested buyers might get a lot smaller.
Instead of waiting months for the right buyer to come along to purchase the house, consider selling to Cream City Home Buyers; they are a Wisconsin home buying company in the market for rental properties and will take on your current tenants. They are also a cash buyer, so they can make you an offer and purchase the home in less than two weeks.
Cream City Home Buyers is a BBB accredited business with an A+ rating and has been in business since 2016. They help homeowners that need to sell their homes with unique selling situations all the time. Find out how to get the best offer for your house by clicking here or give them a call to find out how they can help you sell your house with tenants today!
The material and information in this article are for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information within this article as a basis for making any business, legal or financial decisions. Be advised to seek the advice of a Wisconsin landlord and tenant attorney regarding your landlord rights and your lease agreement.