Q: How do I go about selling a property with tenants?
I recently acquired a property that belonged to my father, who passed away. The property had an additional home that has tenants in it. there is however no rental/lease agreement or rental history in place. I have notified them with intent to sell giving a 30 day notice and offering a cash for keys option, but they are now ignoring my attempts to contact them. The property isn't in great shape and will likely need to go to an investor I need to sell this property. I'm trying to manage this from out of state so its very difficult. What are my rights and what can I do?
A: In Virginia, once the Deed of Distribution from the Estate's Executor is recorded and you are the title owner of record, you can put the property on the market for sale and must disclose the property is occupied by tenants under a month to month tenancy. If you want to terminate the month to month tenancy, you are required by the Code of Virginia to give the tenants a written notice to terminate the tenancy. The notice must be in writing and must comply with the Code of Virginia. If the tenants fail to move after the 30 days notice is served on them, you will have to go to court and file an Unlawful Detainer to get a court order for possession to be returned to the owner/landlord. Since you are out of state, you should hire an attorney to assist you with this matter.
A: You're free to sell. The question for you is whether you want to retain an attorney to evict the tenants before the sale or let the new owner deal with the tenants. You'll likely get more in the sale if the property is vacant, but it's really your decision. I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help if you decide to hire an attorney. Good luck.
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