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Q: I own a property that is currently being let.

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I am considering selling it but have heard many nightmare stories about problems arising concerning tenants. If I do sell it how can I ensure that I do not have any issues with the tenants? Their lease still has quite a few months to go.

A: Because the lease agreement is legally binding and was in place before, it still stands – regardless if the owner of the home decides to sell. The lease agreement goes with the home.

Essentially, this means that buying the home automatically makes whoever buys it a landlord, whether they planned to be or not. It also means that if you are the tenant, you will only need to leave once your lease agreement expires.

Anyone who buys the property will be able to take occupancy of the home only once the lease has expired and the tenant moves out.

For this reason, it is best to go over the details of the lease agreement and see how long the tenant can stay in occupation before deciding whether it is worth your while to sell the home now. – Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa

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