How to take back your rented property in order to sell it
Freeing up a rented property in order to sell it is not a simple process. It’s necessary to take into account the current tenant and to respect the law applicable to such a scenario.
Taking back a rented property with a view to selling it proves to be a delicate operation. It must be handled with care to avoid missing the window of opportunity and starting a fresh three-year tenancy.
The law of 6 July 1989 stipulates that the owner must give the tenant at least six months notice before terminating the rental agreement. Formalised in writing, this decision must state “termination for sale” and respect the tenant’s pre-emptive right, that’s to say, their preferential right to purchase, by making them an offer.
This letter must be separately addressed to all the tenants in residence (whether they are joint tenants or as tenants in common) and sent by registered post or hand delivered by a bailiff. The latter option leaves no room for debate.
Once the letter has been received, the tenant has two months to accept or decline this offer.
- If they decline the opportunity to purchase, they lose any right to occupy the property at the end of their tenancy. Their silence is also taken to be a refusal.
- If they accept the offer, the required signing must take place before a notary within two months of the date they accept. The timetable for completion can be as long as four months if they are purchasing using a loan.
Note: if the landlord sells the property empty to another purchaser for a price lower than that initially offered to the tenant, the notary overseeing the sale must inform the tenant or risk the transaction being null and void. This situation requires that a new offer of sale be sent to the tenant who again has two months to take a decision to purchase.