Q. I really need to sell my apartment but only just renewed the rental contract before a sudden shift in my circumstances. I have already signed up for another 12 months with a 6 month break clause. Have you any suggestions of what I might be able to do?
A. A sudden change of circumstances can befall us all and sometimes at the most inconvenient times. My first suggestion in this case would be to reach out to your local Estate Agent and ask them if they have any investors registered with them that would consider buying the property with the current tenants in occupation. You would be surprised how many investors would be more than happy to do this. Your solicitor would ensure the legalities of this were taken care of and your agent would then draw up a new rental agreement with the new owner on completion. If selling to an investor is not possible then the only option you have is to approach your tenant directly informing them of your situation and offer them compensation for an early exit. Perhaps offering discounted rent whilst the apartment is marketed for sale and then offering them a month’s free rent on their last month in occupation could just be enough to entice them to agree to vacate earlier than the contract would usually allow. Offering an attractive proposal to the tenants is paramount as you need them to co-operate with respect to access for viewings and vacate in good time for completion if a successful sale were agreed. However you need to be aware that if the tenant does not want to co-operate he has every right to exercise his right to stay in the apartment for at least another six months or until the break clause kicks in if he so chooses and there will be nothing you can do as you have signed a legally binding contract agreeing him to do so which you will have no choice but to honour. Rarely however have I seen circumstances such as these present themselves and not be able to reach a mutually agreeable solution as long as you are flexible and considerate in your approach.