Do you need to sell your house with tenants in Pittsburgh? The process isn’t always that easy depending on your lease and tenants in place. Learn more about how to do it in our latest post.
Ethically, when selling your house with tenants in Pittsburgh, you’ll want to make the transition as easy as possible. Let them know of your intentions and what they should expect. If they wish to stay in the home, look for a buyer who will welcome the idea of buying will tenants. Someone who will honor the lease and make the transition invisible to the tenant. That said, it is business. If you are losing money or need to sell for other reasons, don’t hold on to the property longer than you have to.
Tenants Rights (Section Updated January 9th, 2021)
Before you decide to sell your house with tenants in Pittsburgh, make sure you are familiar with the tenant’s rights. Click the link to preview some tips from the Allegheny County Bar Association regarding Landlord and Tenant Law. If you are asking tenants to vacate the property, make sure you are giving them the right amount of notice and are operating according to the law. You will need to have a termination clause in your lease allowing you to end the lease early. Selling your house with tenants in Pittsburgh can seem difficult. But if you adhere to the legalities and work with the right buyers, the process can be done quickly and without much disturbance to anyone’s lives.
With the COVID-19 crisis, the below FAQ is the most frequently asked question we receive:
I’ve lost my job and have fallen behind on my rent. The landlord said I need to be out by the end of the week. What rights do I have?
There are THREE REASONS a landlord can evict a tenant:
- The term of the lease has ended
- The tenant is behind on the rent terms; or
- The tenant has breached a clause with in the lease agreement
Things you should know:
- Landlord’s are prohibited from simply changing the locks to prevent tenant access.
- There are specific procedures outlined below that Landlords must follow to Remove a Tenant:
THE 4 STEP PROCESS TO REMOVE A TENANT:
- 1.) Landlord must provide an EVICTION NOTICE to the tenant by either handing it to the tenant OR posting it on the property. Please call our office if you would like us to provide you with a free copy of the PA EVICTION NOTICE. The notice must state the reason for the eviction and the date when the tenant is being asked to leave. The lease agreement SHOULD NORMALLY include verbiage regarding the timelines and expectations to be followed after receiving or posting an eviction notice to the tenant; however, if the lease does not outline this process, and the lease is for one year or less, the tenant must be provided at least 30 days notice.
***Please call our office for a FREE blank copy of the lease agreement we use that details EVERY EXPECTATION OF TERMS and covers 100% of all items in PA to protect yourself legally when executing leases to new or existing tenants- we have you covered and our Legal Team knows their stuff!***
- 2.) The Landlord should immediately file a “Landlord Tenant Complaint” with the local Pennsylvania magistrate. The tenant will receive a copy of this complaint both in the mail and by either being personally served or having the complaint posted on the property. The complaint will ask for possession of the property AND financial damages for failure to pay the rent due and placing the Landlord in an precarious situation and breaching the lease terms.
- 3.) The Landlord AND Tenant will be required to attend an in person hearing at the magistrate where the tenant will present testimony and request that the court Judge to rule judgement in the tenants favor. IF THE TENANT DOES NOT ATTEND THIS HEARING THE LANDLORD WINS BY DEFAULT.
- 4.) The Landlord should complete an Order of Possession Form PRIOR TO the hearing and immediately present that Completed Order of Possession Form to the Judge if the landlord wins at the magistrate hearing. No sooner than 15 days after winning at the magistrate hearing, the landlord can have the PA State Constable give the tenant an “Order for Possession.” This is a notice telling the tenant that unless the tenant is out of the property by a certain date (no sooner than 10 days after the date the tenant receives the notice) the Constable can forcibly remove the tenant and their belongings out of the apartment or living space. This gives the tenant at least 30 days to vacate after losing at the magistrate hearing.
Selling your house directly will eliminate the need to clean, market, stage, and show the home. All of these can be difficult when there are tenants living in the house. In order to successfully sell your house directly, you will need to find the right buyers who are willing to take on a house with tenants. In fact, there are many investors who will see this as a perk. One less thing they have to do and having an instant income, without any costs for renovating, cleaning, can prove to be very valuable to them.
If you plan on listing the house with a Pittsburgh real estate agent you will either need to wait until the tenants have moved out or have their cooperation in showing the home. You don’t want to have a tenant sabotage a showing whether intentionally or unintentionally, so you will need to make sure they are on your side. To do this, you can consider offering reduced rent in exchange for their time, property maintenance, cleaning, etc. You could also offer reduced rent as an incentive to get them to move out. Or maybe offer to pay the first months rent at their new place. Selling your house with tenants can be very inconvenient for them. Offering financial or other such incentives can help make the transaction an easier one for them.
Remember, it might be your house, but it is currently your tenants home. They may feel a sense of attachment or worry about being uprooted after living in the home for a long time. While you may need to sell the house for your own personal reasons, try to be as respectful and accommodating to your tenants as possible. This will make things easier for them and for you as the home seller.
Sell To Your Tenants
Aside from you, there aren’t many people who know and love the house the same way you do. If your tenant has been there for a while, they will have likely developed an attachment not only to the house but to the community where they are living. If the house has truly become their home, they may be interested in buying it outright. Before you spend time and money on the listing process talk to your tenants to see if there is any interest. The perfect buyer for your Pittsburgh house may be right under your nose!
If waiting is an option, consider holding off on the sale until the lease is up. Then, let your tenants know that they will need to relocate as you will be putting the house on the market. You can give them a heads up ahead of time, letting them know of your intentions. Helping with moving or as a reference can help soften the blow, especially with a long-term tenant. If the sale isn’t needed immediately and you want to spend the time and money on a listing, waiting until the house is vacant will be in your best interest.
Selling your house with tenants in Pittsburgh can be challenging depending on your situation and who your tenants are. However, when you plan ahead, act thoughtfully, and stick to what the law says, it can be done. We would love to help you learn more about the options available to you!