Can a Landlord Terminate a Lease To Sell a House?

Can a Landlord Terminate a Lease To Sell a House?

Can a Landlord Terminate a Lease to Sell a House?

Owning a rental house is great, as you get passive income from it. You will have a lease agreement with the tenant, who will be paying rent for as long as the lease period. But what happens if you decide to sell the house before the lease period of the tenant(s) expires? Do you terminate the lease and sell the house, or what options are available to you? Keep reading to learn the options available.

Can a Landlord Break a Lease?

The simple answer to this question is yes and no, as it depends on the situation. Selling a house when it’s vacant is much easier, especially if you are selling it to homeowner or investor. But when tenants are involved, the situation is much more complex as you must consider the lease agreement terms and sale clause.


You can terminate the lease by giving the tenants enough notice of one or two months. Enough notice gives the tenant the time to search for a new house to rent. You may also refer them to another investor with favorable rental properties in the neighborhood. So if you want to sell your house fast and have found good prospective Tampa home buyers, you can notify your tenants to vacate sooner so that you can get good proceeds from the sale.

In addition, you can terminate the lease of a tenant who is not paying rent on time, causing a disturbance, or not taking care of your property as it should. If you find cash home buyers Tampa interested in the property, you can terminate the lease and sell the property. But you should gather evidence showing the tenant is not taking care of the property correctly or is always late on rent payments. The evidence may come in handy if the tenant files a case against you for terminating the lease.


Fixed-term leases are the most common type of lease agreement where a renter agrees to stay and pay rent for an agreed period, such as 12 or 18 months. If you have a fixed-term lease with your tenant, the tenant has a right to remain in the rental home for the duration of the lease whether or not you sell the home, though some exceptions may apply.(1)

If you don’t have a sale clause or early termination clause on the lease agreement, you should not terminate the lease to sell the house. If you do, you will be violating the tenant’s rights, as they have the right to stay in the house until the end of the lease period. So if the tenant is paying the rent and taking care of the property correctly, you can’t terminate the lease without a valid cause. 

What Happens If the Landlord Terminates a Lease?

The landlord can break a lease ‘with cause’ or through a sale clause. The landlord must notify the tenant about the lease termination and give them ample time to move out. In some situations, the landlord may have to evict the tenant, but that comes at a cost. But you should be reasonable and fair to the tenant.

Other Options for Selling a House with a Tenant in Place

If you can’t terminate the lease early ‘with cause’ or a sale clause, other options will allow you to sell my house fast Tampa with a tenant in place. Here are three options available to you:

Cash for Keys

If you can terminate the lease through an early termination clause or with cause, you can give the tenant an incentive to move out early. If you have a good tenant, they might be willing to negotiate with you for a good incentive that is fair to you and to them. Even if you have a ‘bad tenant,’ they might listen to you if you put a good offer on the table.

You should refund their deposit and offer extra cash to facilitate moving. Once you do that, they will move out sooner. This will allow you to invite different home buyers Tampa to view and provide cash offers for the house.

Month-to-Month Lease

If you have a long-term lease, you can switch it to a month-to-month lease. This gives you the flexibility you need as you can sell the house when a month lease period ends. You will still continue to get income from the house until you find the right buyer. You can even get a buyer who would want to keep the tenant. If you get a buyer who wants to live in the house, you will terminate the month-to-month lease but give the tenant time to move out. Just give them a written 30 days’ notice to vacate.

Even if you have not found a buyer and intend to sell your house sooner, a month-to-month lease will be better than a long-term one. But it is advisable to tell your tenant about your plans to sell the house so that they can prepare psychologically and financially to move out any time or sooner. But the tenant can also move out sooner to allow you to list or open the house for viewing.

Sell the House with a Tenant in Place

Terminating a lease can bring conflicts between you and the tenant. You may even spend a lot of money and time evicting the tenant if they fail to vacate on time. So why shouldn’t you try selling the house with the tenant in place? Many Tampa home buyers and investors are looking for family houses that are already occupied and generating solid cash flow. Some are even willing to pay premium cash prices for such homes depending on their condition and the income they generate.

A landlord can terminate a lease to sell my house fast Tampa. However, if the lease agreement has no sale clause or early termination clause and termination ‘with cause’ can’t apply, you can use the cash for keys option. Alternatively, you can sell the house with a tenant in place or switch to a month-to-month lease to make it easier to sell the house once you find a buyer. 

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