Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Home » Blog » How to Sell a Rental Property with Tenants Still Living in it

How to Sell a Rental Property with Tenants Still Living in it

Published on November 5th, 2021 | Updated on December 18th, 2021


At SoCal Home Buyers our vision is to provide you with a fast, safe and simple solution to selling your home without the stress and hassle of listing it on the MLS. Request a No-Obligation, All Cash Offer on your Tenant occupied home here.


As the owner of a rental house with tenants living in it, you're completely in charge of deciding when to sell it. But the sale will be subject to certain conditions.

There will be legal considerations, based on the lease and on the law.

There will also be the tenants’ right to quiet enjoyment of their leased property, another provision in residential leases.

Understanding what’s in your lease agreement and following the terms is the best way to get started when you decide to sell your house.

The Easiest Way to Sell a Rental with Tenants

Assuming you and your tenants signed a lease before they moved into the house,  the termination date is usually on the first page of the lease.

Tenants have a right to live in your rental house (which is now their home) until the stated termination date.

However, if you sell the house to a new owner, they are buying the house along with the lease and must honor the terms of the lease with the existing tenants until the termination date - assuming there's no legal grounds for eviction.

Selling to a cash home buyer for example can accomplish this.

Cash buyers will want the rental for their portfolio not to live in.

This is often the easiest approach for selling a Tenant occupied rental as you can wash your hands clean of the property and Tenants, while giving them all the responsibility and walking away with a hefty profit.

We Would Love to buy Your Rental

Selling your Tenant occupied rental property can be as easy as 1,2,3. Take a look at what Denise said about her experience. If you'd like the same, click the button below to learn more.

"Highly recommend SoCal Home Buyers if you need to quickly sell your home. We were in a difficult situation with a tenant in a rental who would not move so we could renovate and sell the home, due to eviction moratorium we could not evict. SoCal Home Buyers were amazing to work with, we got an acceptable price and quickly closed the deal with no issues. "

Denise G. - SoCal Home Buyers Review

Corona, CA

What's the Law Say About Selling a Home with Existing Tenants?

If you had a lawyer create the lease for your tenants, check with them to understand the laws governing your lease and legal grounds affecting a sale of your rental property.

If you created the lease with a form you found online, or one you obtained locally, you will still be obligated to meet federal, state, county and city laws regarding the sale of your home with tenants living in it.

Has the Original Lease Expired?

If your original lease expired and you didn’t provide a written lease extension form for your tenants to sign, they are now living month-to-month.

California law covers month-to-month tenancy, and it specifies when and how the landlord and the tenant must notify each other to end it.

A month-to-month lease gives the tenant the right to live in the house from the anniversary date of the original lease (the day of the month it was originally signed) on an on-going basis, one month at a time.

California tenants under these terms must be given notice before the 1st of any month to end their lease by the last day of the following month.

That’s called “Sixty Days’ Notice,” which is required for tenants who have lived in the house for a year or more.

How Much Notice to Give Tenants When Selling During Covid?

In our current COVID climate, in California, landlords should at least give Tenants a minimum of 120 days notice when you have the intent to sell. Although it's possible to sell your home in less than 120 days to an Investor, this is usually under the circumstance that the Investor is also purchasing the home with the tenants.

If you're interested in selling your Tenant occupied home in our COVID climate, contact us now at: 951-331-3844 and we'll explain how our process works and how you can sell sooner than 120 days if needed.

Should You Tell Your Tenants You Plan to Sell?

Naturally, it's good to let your tenants know about any plans you’re making to sell the home they're living in so they have time to make living arrangements if needed.

Otherwise, if you sell to a cash home buyer and your agreement is for them to take the tenants, you can let them know the new owners will be honoring their current lease.

Arrange a Time to Meet

Either way, it's a good idea to set up a convenient time to stop by and speak to them in person, preferably both the husband and wife in a married couple and all the roommates in a co-tenant arrangement.

It’s important that you speak to each person who lives in the rental house, even long-term guests to cover all your bases.

Preparing a Written Notice

After your visit with everyone, preparing a written notice is another way to ensure you’ve met your legal notice obligations.  You can then mail the written notice to cover your legal bases.

Landlords: How to Sell a House with Tenants Living in It

Notifying Tenants Before Showing the Property

You'll definitely need your tenants’ cooperation when you show the home.

You'll want to acknowledge the inconvenience of leaving home during an open house, usually held on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, as a thoughtful way of saying, “Yes, we know this is a hassle. Thanks for your cooperation.

Due to the inconvenience, tenants are often reluctant to cooperate. So being as polite and respectful as possible is the best approach to get cooperation.

Check your lease terms or ask your lawyer to determine whether a phone call or a text is enough to provide tenants with legal notice.

Make sure each tenant agrees to the date and time you’ve chosen for an open house, to avoid surprises.

If one or more tenants choose not to leave home during the time an open house is scheduled, most real estate professionals will go ahead with the open house, letting visitors know people are at home.

Selling Your Rental Property?

Don’t stress out. Get a copy of our FREE guide to selling your rental property in California. Just drop in your email and we'll send you the guide!

Guide to Selling Rental Property

Offering Incentives to Get Tenants Cooperation during the Sale

Sometimes incentives can help you and your real estate broker to get cooperation for open houses and individual showings.

Gift cards can often be a great incentive for uncooperative tenants.

Amazon, specialty stores and basic VISA gift cards can do the trick. Tenants will appreciate your thoughtfulness and make it harder to decline your request for them to cooperate.

Avoiding the Hassle of the Entire Sales Process

If dealing with your Tenants and the legalese necessary is more work than you want to deal with, there’s an easier alternative for selling your rental house with tenants.

You can avoid going through the process of dealing with tenants and potential conflicts, waiting months to find qualified buyers and paying huge fees in real estate commissions and traditional closing costs.

Calling SoCal Home Buyers can give you peace of mind in avoiding the entire hassle of dealing with your Tenants while trying to sell your property.

We offer top dollar without the headaches and costs of listing your Tenant occupied home, that can make your life a lot easier.

Even if your rental house needs costly repairs, or you’re facing foreclosure, selling your property directly to socalhomebuyers is a real possibility to consider before you list with a real estate broker or start showing it yourself.

Avoid the Hassle of Selling Your Rental Property

We would love for the opportunity to speak with you regarding your Rental property. We can make you a no-obligation cash offer without any strings attached. Click the button below to learn more!

"I had the pleasure of working with SoCal Home Buyers, selling a rental home in the Los Angeles area, while living out of state. Appointments were always kept, I was always informed and kept up to date of any activity. I would definitely use this company again."

Linda S. - SoCal Home Buyers Review

Los Angeles, CA

Advantages of Selling to SoCal Home Buyers

Landlords: How to Sell a House with Tenants Living in It

Working with a cash buyer to sell your rental house with tenants gives you several advantages over marketing the property with a broker or selling it by owner:

Once you agree to a purchase price, the sale is guaranteed.
No costs or fees are charged to you at closing.