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Putting rental property on the market


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#1 Monket

Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

Just after some opinions....

We have a rental property that we have just put on the market.  We have tenants that have about 7 weeks to go on their lease.  The property has been on the market for 1 week and our tenants have just asked if they can break the lease as they have found another property they would like to move into.  Would you let them break the lease?  We have been model landlords and have fixed everything when asked, accommodated their dog and their repeat requests for trees to be chopped down despite the mature trees being very important to us.  We have provided fortnightly pool cleans so they didn't have to touch it at all and we are charging under market rent.  

We are happy to reduce the rent by $70 a week for the remainder of the lease but really don't want to break the lease.  What would you do in this situation?  I feel mean making them stay there but as a renter, I understand that this could happen to me at any time.  Gah, I don't know what to do!

#2 beccaj

Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:58 AM

I would let them break lease under the conditions of the lease. They would be leaving in 7 weeks anyway,

Are you not wanting to show the home as a vacant property? Its really the tenants choice if they wish to leave before the lease is up.


Edited by beccaj, 25 February 2013 - 11:31 AM.


#3 meljb

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:01 AM

How soon do they want to move? I'd be inclined to let them break it, you don't really want disgruntled tenants causing difficulties for open homes etc
Hopefully the property will sell quickly and it wont be an issue long term.

#4 Carmen02

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

QUOTE (meljb @ 25/02/2013, 09:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How soon do they want to move? I'd be inclined to let them break it, you don't really want disgruntled tenants causing difficulties for open homes etc
Hopefully the property will sell quickly and it wont be an issue long term.

that would be my worry if you dont let them break lease. We hated timing end of one lease to finding another house was a pain!

#5 emnut

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

yes I would - I think it is incredibly unfair to make a tenant suffer through opens etc for only 7 weeks if they have found somewhere else when you are the ones who have decided to sell & that is the likely reason they have even looked for another property.

#6 Bodacious Prime

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

I've been both landlord and tenant.
I would let them break.

#7 HGL

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

As a tenant I would find it quite uncomfortable having to maintain the house in display like conditions and having strangers looking at your things. There's also the risk of theft which often  isn't covered by contents insurance. RE agents can also expect both owners and tenants to drop everything to show the house with just 15 minutes notice.

As a potential buyer, I'd much prefer to view a house that is vacant.

Personally, I think it's win win that they're offering to move out early. Finding rental properties can be very difficult and they might miss out on their new lease if they have to postpone 7 weeks.

#8 lucky 2

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:16 AM

From a tenants perspective, did they know that after the lease was up you would be selling?
Or did you decide more recently?
Maybe they were wanting to lease your property longer and now have to change plans.
If I didn't know you wanted to sell when I signed the lease I'd want to get out ASAP, ie to stay is to hold off moving on with life combined with the inconvenience of viewings.
If this is the case I'd let them go and give let them give you 14 days notice so they can move on with their lives.


#9 HurryUpAlready

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

I'm in two minds as I can see it from both sides.

We own a home in Sydney that we currently have rented out as we are living interstate, where we rent. The house we had been living in (renting) in Perth was put on the market when we had 3-4 months left on our lease.

I hated the weekly open (and occasional mid week) inspections and would have given anything to break the lease & leave early rather than putting up with inspections, pest & building inspections, the new owners wanting another look, pre-settlement inspection etc etc etc. Our lease expired on 20 Jan which was such a hard time to look for a new rental (nothing came up prior to Xmas which meant that by early Jan, I had about 16 days to find a property, get accepted in a property (not easy with a dog!), pack, move and clean up the old rental. And all with an 12 month old and morning sickness with #2! It was absolutely horrid, but of course the owners wouldn't let us out early. God forbid that they should have been inconvenienced!! (yes, I'm bitter).

As a landlord though, I understand that you obviously don't want to lose rent.

Can I ask though, if they only have 7 weeks left on the lease, why couldn't you have put the property in the market then, rather than inconveniencing the tenant now?

In regards as to whether I'd let them break the lease, perhaps you can offer to split the difference (ie let them out as at x date). It probably won't work for them as they'll be up for double rent but at least you will have tried to meet them half way.



#10 Monket

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

Thanks for the responses.  We decided to put it on the market after the recent storms.  We live a long way from the house and it has been incredibly stressful wondering if the house still has a roof or sustained damage etc.  We selfishly put it on the market straight away as we had been approached by an agent and we ideally don't want the house to be vacant for long due to insurance issues (our home insurance cuts out after twelve weeks of being vacant).

We will only allow weekly open houses as I understand how disruptive this can be and we don't expect the house to be pristine, in fact I don't expect them to do anything to make the house presentable.  Our listing agent is different from our managing agent which has also brought a bit of negativity but we did give the managing agent notice of our intentions and ample opportunity to contact us to discuss.

Mixed responses but food for thought.

#11 lucky 2

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

AFAIK in Vic, if an owner either wants to sell the property or develop the site during the lease period then the tenant is able to leave with only 14days notice (rather than the usual 6 weeks notice).
That's what we did as soon as we found out the sad news (we liked the property and the owners), I know they would have thought they'd have had a 4 or 6 week time period for us to leave but we knew our rights and it suited us to just get out asap. We were lucky enough to find a good property almost immediatedly and only had a 2 week overlap in rent (which I like so I can sort out 2 houses and not be under pressure).
I wonder what the regulations are where you live OP and if the tenants have looked into their rights?

#12 bluecupcakes

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

Where I live rentals, especially for family's are hard to come by!  If your tenants have found another place I would let them go as they may have trouble finding another place in 7 weeks.

#13 namie

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

QUOTE (HGL @ 25/02/2013, 12:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As a tenant I would find it quite uncomfortable having to maintain the house in display like conditions and having strangers looking at your things. There's also the risk of theft which often  isn't covered by contents insurance. RE agents can also expect both owners and tenants to drop everything to show the house with just 15 minutes notice.

As a potential buyer, I'd much prefer to view a house that is vacant.

Personally, I think it's win win that they're offering to move out early. Finding rental properties can be very difficult and they might miss out on their new lease if they have to postpone 7 weeks.

I agree with HGL. Finding a new rental can be a nightmare. If they've found one already I'd let them move early.

It's far nicer inspecting an empty house as you have free reign to check out everything without constraint.

#14 Madnesscraves

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

If be inclined to compromise. They ill let you leave x weeks early. Sounds like they haven't finished the signed 12 month lease?

#15 Queen Yoda

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (Monket @ 25/02/2013, 10:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just after some opinions....

We have a rental property that we have just put on the market.  We have tenants that have about 7 weeks to go on their lease.  The property has been on the market for 1 week and our tenants have just asked if they can break the lease as they have found another property they would like to move into.  Would you let them break the lease?  We have been model landlords and have fixed everything when asked, accommodated their dog and their repeat requests for trees to be chopped down despite the mature trees being very important to us.  We have provided fortnightly pool cleans so they didn't have to touch it at all and we are charging under market rent.  

We are happy to reduce the rent by $70 a week for the remainder of the lease but really don't want to break the lease.  What would you do in this situation?  I feel mean making them stay there but as a renter, I understand that this could happen to me at any time.  Gah, I don't know what to do!

I'd let them break the lease.  I have been in both positions.  When I was the renter, the agent had to convince the LL to break the lease as they didn't want me to leave until lease had expired (6 weeks to go).  It put a very sour taste in my mouth.  As a LL, I get where they are coming from.  You know it's a possibility so you list for sale taking that into account (well, we did).

If you wanted them to stay for as long as possible, I would not have not listed it for sale until there was only 3-4 weeks left on their tenancy.  Lesson learned.  Hindsight, it's a wonderful thing.

#16 I'm Batman

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

I think you should let them leave.

You can organise some other sort gap insurance, but I think they deserve quite peace and enjoyment of their home and they should be able to move onto any house they can find, its not easy to get a rental.

#17 Nataliah

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

I am not a landlord, but I am a renter.  I think you should let them break the lease.  Honestly I think its a bit mean spirited not to.  Your house is currently their home, the roof over their head.  You've decided to sell it and now they are forced to find another home.  They've found one, good for them, let them have it.

#18 9ferals

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

You've listed it for sale in the last few weeks of their tenancy -  so I think it is quite reasonable for them to ask to leave early.  As other people have said, finding another rental isn't easy in many parts of the country, so I'd be letting them go.

However, I also think it's reasonable to ask them for some notice - perhaps 21 days.  That's almost splitting the difference, though slightly more in their favour.


#19 madmother

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

Honestly, I don't think you thought it out. Weekly inspections are still an inconvenience. I would let them out, you can do a hell of a lot of damage in 7 weeks.  huh.gif

#20 Chchgirl

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

QUOTE (Bodacious Prime @ 25/02/2013, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been both landlord and tenant.
I would let them break.


So have I, and yes with only 7 weeks to go I would let them break it.

#21 kez71

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:02 PM

I  am a landlord and i would let them break it. like yourself, i pride myself on being a great LL and fix things asap, keep the rent low etc. i don't think its fair to not let them break the lease when they have found somewhere else as you are selling up. 7 weeks left isn't a lot. Hopefully you will sell it within that 7 weeks, if not then soon after.

#22 Tea-snob

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

I would let them break the lease, but check your lease/contract as the one time I broke a lease (as a renter) there was a "break lease fee" which was a couple of weeks rent.

#23 Monket

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

We are in Qld.  We are acting within the terms of the lease but in saying that, the terms are slanted towards the landlord.  I think we might look at offering reduced rent and failing that, let them break the lease with some notice.  The area the house is in is a good area with few rental properties but it is in a large regional city so there are plenty of rental properties in the general vicinity of this house ie they would have little trouble renting a house.  I should also add that the tenant is a legal professional so I don't think damage is an issue!

#24 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:14 PM

Let them break.

It may work out lots easier for you as disgruntled tenants can always make things difficult for viewings and (in NSW you have to give 2 weeks written notice of the first then only 2 per week with 48hrs notice) refuse viewings which would result in you having to take them to a tribunal for access. You should check your obligations as a landlord and make sure you have 100% complied. Then the house could be a foul smelling tip when a prospective buyers comes around.

We viewed a house where this was the situation. there were overflowing bin bags everywhere, washing taking over the laundry room and in the bedrooms. One bedroom wasn't able to be viewed as there was a naked person in there who refused to cover up as he was in his home and there was no requirement for him to be dressed in his home.

When we left a rental we asked to break lease, the owner agreed with 14 days notice during which we would allow two opens a week plus two additional viewings if required. It seemed fair as we had the inconvenience of viewings and he had the inconvenience of no rent once we left until it sold.



#25 Coffeegirl

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

How soon do they want to move out?  

If they break the lease - I'm assuming they have to give you 4 weeks notice?   If they only have 7 to go anyway, then you only lose out on 3 weeks rent.

Let them go.....






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