People invest in property to derive recurring returns from renting or leasing out. Not frequently they would come across unpredictable tenants. But if any such trying situation occurs where the owners get cornered by the tenants and become a threat while remitting the dues and also challenge its disposal. Under those hard-pressed situations, how to sell the house remains to be a million-dollar question. Nevertheless, optimistically one can say, “where there is a will, there is a way”. This is not a conundrum situation that will end up in a stalemate. There are fundamentally four mechanisms to solve any problem. Firstly, the tenant must be taken into confidence and passively explain the emergency to dispose of the house, for example, to meet the university fee for the children, or graduation ceremony, marriage ceremony etc. Emotionally tackling situations will be best in such circumstances where the tenant feels stronger than the owner.
The second-best option could be by way of offering to sell the house to the same tenant considering him to be the first priority as their preferred buyer. Instead of directly pitching the sales of such property in the open market, it is better to offer the tenant, if he or she is interested in buying it. Such an offer usually proves as irresistible and will consolidate the move of getting off the unwanted stress. The offering can be reasonably priced which may be lower than the market value and within the budget of the tenant. While making such offers, owners must try to trigger the emotional attachment of the tenant such as their children’s upbringing, accessibility to schools, and markets etc., factors which cannot be ignored having hidden values.
If the tenant is not prepared to buy or has some financial constraints, such tenants can be offered some fringe benefits as takeaways such as waiving off the bills of the past three to six months, meeting relocation expenses, or even paying extra cash that can compensate their new leasing rentals elsewhere. Experience shows, that some needy tenants having a poor backup both in terms of finances and manpower to encounter such situations, will succumb to such offers and owners will be at ease.
There could be some tenants who will not get compromised under any circumstances and continue to pose threats to the owners. Those tenants must be taken to task legally with due considerable knowledge of the rights of owners and tenants. The legal repercussions must be strongly put-forth by the owners that in case of legal eviction, the legal charges along with permissible damages must be borne by the tenant. To a large extent, even the toughest tenant will wiggle their tail due to uncertainty in judiciary outcomes.
For those owners who want a peaceful solution without getting into legal scuffling, perhaps arbitration is the best option. A final attempt to settle the issue permanently could be through arbitration. Better to find some friend or a family member who is commonly connected to both tenant and owner and can influence both through his win-win solution to such congestion in mindsets. By and large, arbitration is proved many times quite successful in striking dead deals due to the abilities of the influencing parties and continuing to maintain their mutual relations.
Flexibility is the key that helps owners resolve issues sooner. An open offer of selling to the tenant within a fixed time period to the same tenant, along with terms and conditions that in case of the tenant fails to pay off the dues completely, then owners will have full rights to dispose of it as per their convenience and interest. The arbitrator may also add a clause of vacating the house in case the tenant is unable to buy it as scheduled. If any such agreement can be made in the presence of an arbitrator, it can smoothen the process of selling the house at the earliest.
All said and done, dealing with property that is pre-occupied by tenants for a longer period may usually cause problems than those of short-term tenancy. If we look from the tenant’s point of view, the inertia may be due to their accustomed comfort zone over the years and their emotional bondage with the place, neighbors, and accessibility to schools and colleges, which in any case may take a longer time to get adjusted elsewhere. Thus, the owners must ponder over such hidden concerns of the tenants while having a dialogue and substituting them with monetary or other hidden benefits would help to a large extent.