Selling a Rental When It Hurts the Tenants: What Should Landlords Do?

The constant battle between renters and landlords wages ever onwards. As renters search far and wide for affordable housing, landlords raise prices to get as much as possible for a unit. 

Renters with a good deal will do everything they can to maintain it, leaving some landlords wondering what they should do if they want to sell. 

Inherited Rentals

One reluctant landlord came to Reddit for advice on selling their rental property. The Original Poster (OP) received the home as an inheritance when their grandfather passed, and it’s located out of state. 

They never wanted to be a landlord but decided to keep the property until the lease ran out and then sell. They figured that would be the fairest course of action for the tenants. 

Lease Up

When the lease was near expiration, the landlord visited the property to see what they needed to do to sell. They were looking at the property’s condition,  potential updates, needed repairs, and realtors in the area. 

Tenant Begs The To Reconsider

While visiting with the tenant, the landlord received an unusual request. They begged OP to keep the house and extend the lease. 

The renters claimed that with rising prices everywhere, they couldn’t afford another rental home and would have to move their family into a small apartment. They’d lose access to the yard and neighborhood, and their kids would have to switch schools. 

OP Wants To Sell

OP doesn’t want to be a landlord. They feel it’s too stressful, especially for an out-of-state home, and have struggled to find a good property manager in the past. 

They want to sell and even offered it to the renters, but they can’t afford a downpayment. 

Feeling Guilty

OP’s wife feels terrible for the renters and wants OP to reconsider. While OP is empathetic towards the renter’s situation, he feels the stress isn’t worth it and fears he will lose money overall. Ultimately, he has the final say since it’s an inheritance, but the guilt is getting to him. 

Would he be wrong to sell despite his tenants’ pleas?

OP Not Wrong

Although the renters’ situation is sad, it’s not OP”s fault, nor is it his responsibility. We all understand inflation’s massive impacts, but OP shouldn’t sacrifice his own health and financial stability to support another family. 

Sell To a Landlord

Some users offered a compromise that could help both parties. OP could sell to another landlord. 

Many landlords looking to increase their inventory love finding tenant-occupied rentals, as it makes their lives so much easier. The tenant could stay, OP could offload the property, and a new landlord could take over. 

Rising Prices

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that OP will find a buyer who will pay market value while maintaining the tenants’ current rent payments. Even if OP did sell, the new landlord would likely raise the rents, and who knows if that would be affordable for the tenants. 

Still, it’s their only option for staying in the home. 

The Downsides of Renting

Though many users feel for the tenants, they also stress that this situation is one of the common pitfalls of renting. When you rent, you’re subject to the whims of your landlord. They can raise rent, cancel the lease, and make changes as they see fit, as long as they follow the legal procedures outlined in the lease agreement. 

Although it’s an awful situation for the tenants, it’s not OP’s responsibility. He never wanted to be a landlord, and he did the decent thing by maintaining the home until the lease was up. 

OP should sell and stop worrying about it. 

Source: Reddit

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