Owning a rental property can be a great way to earn some extra income every month. But after years of dealing with tenants, annual maintenance, and vacancies, selling can sound like a great option.
Maybe you’re thinking about selling because the real estate market is hot right now in Nebraska, and decided now would be an excellent time to cut ties with your rental house finally.
But not so fast, unless you have excellent timing and your current rental agreement is about to expire, you will need to answer the question, “can you sell your rental house in Nebraska with tenants still in it?”
Well, you came to the right spot to help answer all your questions on how to sell your residence with tenants still in it.
Can You Sell Your Rental House with Tenants In It?
Selling a House with Tenants Still In It
To clarify and answer your first question, “can you sell your rental house in Nebraska with tenants still in it?”. The answer is yes, as long as you can find a buyer willing to take on your current renters. But the good news is you may not have to depending on what type of lease agreement you have with your current tenants. Usually, there are two types of lease agreements.
- Fixed Term Lease
If your current tenants are renting on a month-to-month basis, it won’t be a big deal to sell the house while it’s being rented out; that is as long as you give them adequate notice.
A proper notification involves delivering or mailing a letter to your tenant thirty days before you plan to sell, warning them to move out, usually lining up with the rent due date. Typically you don’t need to explain why you’re terminating the month-to-month rental agreement. This is one of the major advantages of having a month-to-month lease agreement.
Each state has different notification requirements, but Nebraksa’s landlord laws require 30 days notice for tenants to move out with month-to-month lease agreements.
Fixed Term Lease
If you and your renter have agreed upon a fixed-term lease, your options to sell will be more difficult. When selling an occupied house with a fixed-term lease, it will require a bit more work and isn’t easily terminated because ownership changes hands.
In Nebraska, you must follow your lease requirements specified in the rental agreement, or the lease simply terminates at the end of the lease agreement for a fixed-term lease. So if your tenant is still locked in for another 6 months, you will need to look for other alternatives for handling tenants with a fixed-term lease- which will be covered further below.
Dealing With Renters Before Selling Your House
Dealing with renters should be pretty easy; just make sure you give them the proper notice and share as much information as you can. Tenants will be more likely to cooperate with you if you are more forthcoming. Handling your month-to-month renter will be easier than your fixed-term tenants, but there are several things you can do to make the selling process easier for both parties involved. Below are the ways to address selling a rental house in Nebraska with tenants still in it.
How To Handle a Tenant in a Month-To-Month Lease
When your tenant is in a month-to-month lease contract, it will be relatively easy to sell your house. Make sure to give your tenant 30 days notice to move out, and within those thirty days of terminating the lease agreement, you (the landlord) must give them 24-hours notice before showing the house. All of this information should be noted in the lease agreement as well.
Besides that, you should let your renters know that you will be giving them 24-hours notice prior to showing the property and how you will deliver the notice (via phone, text, or email). You should also tell them what hours you intend to show the house, for example, between 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Lastly, if you have any special requirements regarding the property’s cleanliness, make sure to make a note of that. Some typical requests are for there to be no dirty dishes in the sink, the home to be tidy, and any pets to be put in their crates.
How To Handle a Tenant in a Fixed-Term Lease
Handling a tenant in a fixed-term lease will be a bit trickier for you to sell your rental house, but it is possible to do. The best thing you can do is figure out your options. Below are five ways you can negotiate your fixed term lease while selling a rental house in Nebraska.
- Wait Until the Lease Expires
Not the most attractive option, but waiting would be the easiest option to deal with a fixed-term lease. Waiting respects the contract until the lease expires and your tenant officially moves out. But if the renter violates any lease terms, you will be able to terminate the lease sooner with adequate notice.
Reasons for fixed-term lease termination would include:
- Failing to pay monthly rent
- Engaging in illegal activities on the property
- Subleasing, if not allowed
- Violating a no-pet policy
- Tenant destroyed rental property
- Being a nuisance to neighbors
- Falsifying details on the rental application
There are a few benefits to waiting for your tenants to move out prior to listing a rental house. One reason is that you will be able to easily make repairs, renovations, or improvements without disrupting the renters. Also, it will be easier to prep, stage, and show the house unoccupied.
- Sell the Rental House to an Investor with the Rental Agreement
Keep in mind that a fixed lease does not automatically terminate once a home is sold or by merely transferring ownership. In Nebraska, the law requires that the rental agreement and security deposit be transferred with the property when the new owner takes possession or be returned to the tenant. If transferred, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing that the new owner is now in possession of the lease agreement and their deposit.
Selling your rental house in Nebraska with tenants is possible, but you will need to find a buyer willing to accept and understand that tenants live in the property.
In this situation, selling to an investor would be your best option because it is important that the new landlord lets the tenant live in the house until the fixed-term lease expires. One such investor who buys rental properties in Nebraska is Element Homebuyers.
Investors like Element Homebuyers look at this as a selling point. A good reliable renter is a benefit to have, and they instantly see a positive return on their investment.
- Offer Your Tenant Cash For Keys
If you’re in a position where you have a qualified buyer lined up, and you need the house to be empty, you can always try to negotiate with your tenants to get them to vacate the home before the lease expires. This is known as “cash for keys”, this option can be helpful but also expensive.
If you’re interested in this option, here are some scenarios and tips to determine what to offer your tenants.
- Pay their moving costs: to help make up for their trouble of an early relocation, you may want to consider covering their moving costs to help out.
- Pay the difference: If your renter only has a few months left, offer to pay the difference of a similar rental property in the area. If rent is more expensive elsewhere than what you have been charging, offer to cover the difference times the number of months left on the lease agreement.
- Pay their security deposit: Volunteer to pay for half of what it would take for your renter to move into a new rental property. Usually, that is the first-months rent and a security deposit.
- Offer whatever you can afford: Ultimately, you should offer whatever amount you can. Weigh what you can stand to gain by getting the tenants out early vs. your available financial resources.
Something to remember when offering ‘cash for keys’, your tenant is under no obligation to agree to your terms or accept your offer. So, unfortunately, that might put you back at square one, which means you will need to wait until the end of the lease agreement to sell the house in Nebraska with tenants.
- Sell the House to Your Tenants
Another solution and easy way to sell a house with tenants is to offer to sell the home to them. They already have familiarity with the property and all it offers, so they might be interested in buying the place. The only thing is your renters would need to be financially ready to buy the house. And if you wanted to sell fast, they might not be able to line up a home loan for several weeks to a few months.
- Enforce an Early Termination Clause in the Fixed-Term Agreement
When selling a house with tenants, always double-check your rental agreement; it might contain an early termination clause, which can be used to address this particular scenario.
Some clauses say that the rental agreement will terminate in 30,60 or 90 days after closing on the house. The reasoning can be anything, as long as it is for a good reason, and both parties agreed to it in the initial rental agreement.
Tenant Rights in Nebraska
Don’t forget tenants have rights just as much as you do when it comes to leasing a house. Some of those rights have been covered a few times in this article – like giving your tenant sufficient notice of terminating the lease and letting them know when you intend to show the house.
Something else to keep in mind when your renter vacates is that you must return their security deposit or an itemized list of deductions within 14 days of the tenant vacating the house per Nebraska law.
It would be helpful to work with an attorney familiar with local regulations if there is any confusion about landlord and tenant rights and selling a rental house in Nebraska.
Just make sure to keep the lines of communication open; that way, your tenants know what to expect. Be forthcoming about selling your house. Meet with your renters and share about your efforts to sell the house and how it would impact them. Sharing the process of how you plan to show the residence and acknowledging that it might be an inconvenience but that you will try to do your best to avoid that, would be helpful. Showing that you care and are concerned goes a long way and can make the transaction a smoother process.
Don’t forget; legally, you need to give your renters 24-hours notice when booking any showings. Explaining that to your tenants. Although this a rental house to you, to your renters, this is their home.
Something else to avoid doing is placing a for sale sign in the yard that would alert neighbors or the general public of the sale. This may be seen as an opportunity for people passing by or nosy neighbors to request a showing. Explain to your renters that you will give them notice before showings and that if anyone randomly shows up, they shouldn’t let them in.
Nebraska law requires that the security deposit and lease agreement be transferred with the property to the new owner or return all or a portion of the deposit back to the tenant directly. If you plan to transfer it to the new owner, you must notify your tenant in writing of the transfer. The notice should inform the tenant of the sale and explain who to send their next rental payments to.
Hopefully, this a situation you’re not dealing with currently, although troublesome tenants are out there. The good news is if you’re dealing with problematic tenants if the occupants are violating any terms of the lease agreement, you will be able to evict them before their fixed lease expires. But if a renter destroys rental property, you could be in some trouble, especially if you’re trying to sell quickly,
Nebraska eviction law requires landlords to give notice that the eviction is based on non-payment of rent or material noncompliance with the rental agreement. If the renter did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the renter a seven-day written notice to terminate the lease. This notice must indicate the amount of rent owed and inform the renter that he or she can choose to pay or move out. If the rent is paid within seven days, the renter can stay.
If a tenant violates the tenancy agreement or didn’t perform duties, the landlord can send a 30 day written notice to terminate the lease. But if the tenant corrects the problem within 14 days, the tenant may stay. However, if the renter violates the rental agreement in a similar way within six months, the landlord can evict the tenant by sending him or her a written 14-day notice. In which case, the tenant must move out.
If your troublesome tenant is engaged in prohibited activity on the property, the landlord may evict the renter by sending them a written five-day notice to quit. In which case the tenant must move out.
Examples of prohibited activities include:
- Violent acts or threats
- Illegal use or threat of firearms or other weapons
- Unlawful possession of controlled substances
- Activity that affects the health or safety of any person
- Activity that threatens or causes property damage
You might need to evict your tenants if they stay past their rental termination date. Legally you can begin the eviction process without having to provide additional notice.
Usually, troublesome renters will make it challenging for you to track down, especially if they owe you money. This could put you in a challenging situation if the tenant destroyed the rental property. You will be able to deduct damages from their security deposit, but in some cases, that isn’t enough to cover everything. This would be another instance where selling to an investor would be helpful. Investors like Element Homebuyers actually buy properties in as-is condition. So you wouldn’t have to deal with the cost of fixing things left by your troublesome tenants.
The Selling Process
Honestly, selling a rental house can be complicated, which is why you should work with a real estate professional who has experience with these types of transactions. Selling your house to an investor like Element Homebuyers would make for a smooth home sale. You won’t have to conduct multiple showings, and they would be willing to take on your current fixed-term occupant. Element Homebuyers is also familiar with these types of transactions- purchasing rental properties.
If you were to sell to Element Homebuyers, the process would look something like this:
- Contact Element Homebuyers to share information about your rental house in Nebraska and request a cash offer.
- Send photos of the property or schedule a time to walk through the home with a member from Element Homebuyers.
- Once the property is viewed either in person or by viewing photos, you will receive a free cash offer for your rental home.
- Decided on a closing date, either after your current tenant’s lease is up or while the renter still lives in the property.
The selling process is relatively simple because you don’t have to wait for your tenants to leave before selling. You wouldn’t need to make any repairs or renovations since Element Homebuyers would purchase the house as-is, which would save you thousands of dollars on improvements, as well as the time it would take to complete all those repairs before listing the rental property.
Furthermore, since you would sell directly to Element Homebuyers, you wouldn’t need to hire a realtor to sell a house with tenants. This would save you the cost of agent commissions, which are 5-6% of the sale price. Not to mention, Element Homebuyers will also pay closing costs. It sounds like an ideal solution since you’re selling a house in Nebraskas with tenants still in it.
Whichever way you end up selling your rental house, just make sure to follow the terms of the lease to do everything within your legal rights. If you’re unsure about the terms of your lease, seek the advice of a real estate attorney, they can look over your rental agreement and help you understand your landlord rights and if there are any legal consequences to selling your rental house in Nebraska with tenants still in it.
Just keep in mind that selling a house in Nebraska with or without tenants can be difficult. If you’re looking for a quick way to sell the house, sell to Element Homebuyers, You can even get started today by getting a cash offer for your rental property by visiting their website.
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 Nebraska landlord and tenant attorney regarding your landlord rights and your lease agreement.