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Q: I want to sell a couple of my rental properties

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But I have tenants already living in them. How do I navigate this?

A: Selling with your tenants in place can be difficult, so you may have to do some additional preparation before your property goes on show.

Unfair as it may be, tenants generally have a reputation for not keeping homes in the best condition and many potential buyers seeking a home for themselves will thus be reluctant to look at a property where a tenant is still resident.

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In many cases, other buy-to-let investors who might be interested in adding your property to their portfolio would prefer to find their own tenants. And incumbent tenants who really don’t want to move can deliberately put obstacles in the way of a sale.

The best course is to first find out whether these tenants might want to buy the property themselves. If that is not possible, it is generally better to give them reasonable notice and then prepare an empty property for sale, with the incentive for prospective buyers being that it would be ready for immediate occupation once the suspensive conditions of the offer to purchase have been met. – Gerhard Kotzé, managing director of the RealNet estate agency group

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