Selling With a Sitting Tenant in Bristol: Pros & Cons

Worried couple reading a letter sitting on a couch in the living room at home

If you want to sell a property during a fixed-term tenancy, you don’t have to wait until the agreement ends before going to market. 

Selling a property with sitting tenants is often an excellent opportunity for landlords – and a very attractive sale for some buyers. But, alongside the pros, there are some cons to consider as well.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of selling with a sitting tenant in Bristol to help landlords prepare for a sitting-tenant sale.

What is a Sitting Tenant?

In short, a sitting tenant is someone who rents a property from you on a fixed-term tenancy agreement at the same time that you decide to sell. Even though you are selling, they can stay in the property until the fixed term expires.

Pros of Selling With a Sitting Tenant

1. It’s Attractive to Landlords

While most landlords worry that it’s hard to sell a house with sitting tenants, it can be very attractive to landlords looking to buy.

Since there are already tenants living in the property, it means they won’t need to market it themselves or experience any voids in the first few weeks or months after buying.

2. You Won’t Have Voids

Selling a property can take several months. If your rental is empty when you’re selling, this can lead to an extended period of voids.

However, the benefit of selling with a sitting tenant is that your tenants will be staying in situ, so you’ll continue getting rent payments throughout the selling process.

3. There’s Less Risk of Break-In’s

Empty properties can be at risk of break-ins or vandalism. With a good security system and smart home features that simulate the presence of people, you can often deter burglars from breaking into an empty property for sale.

However, when you have sitting tenants, you could be at less risk of a break-in since your tenants will be living in the property as normal.

Cons of Selling With a Sitting Tenant

1. Limited Target Market

While you can still sell a property with sitting tenants to homeowners, really, your target market is limited to other landlords.

This can mean you’ll have a smaller buying pool – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially as a property with sitting tenants can be very attractive to buying landlords.

2. Risk of Lower Offers if Selling to Homeowners

You can still sell a property with sitting tenants to homeowners, but it likely won’t be as attractive to them. If they buy, they’ll need to follow the eviction process before they can live in the property themselves.

This can take time and create extra admin work for a homeowner, so they may undercut you on the asking price to make up for the inconvenience.

3. Extra Admin

It isn’t a huge issue, and working with a letting agent will make the process easier, but extra administration work needs to be done when selling with sitting tenants.

You’ll need to issue the buyer with a series of documentation, including all Right to Rent documents, tenancy agreements, gas & electricity safety certificates etc. Plus, you’ll need to transfer the tenants’ deposit to the buyer’s name.

Get Expert Advice

At Northwood Bristol, we are your local property experts in Bristol. If you need expert letting advice about selling your property with a sitting tenant, our friendly team are happy to answer all your questions.

Give us a call today on 0117 9635777 or browse our letting and property management services at https://www.northwooduk.com/bristol-estate-agents/.