Hidden Pitfalls in Rental Agreements and Leases: Protecting Your Interests as a Renter or Landlord

Hidden Pitfalls in Rental Agreements and Leases: Protecting Your Interests as a Renter or Landlord

  • 05/15/23
Question: Do I have to use my Property Manager if I sell my house?
Answer: This is more of a PSA post than anything else. If you’re a landlord or tenant, it’s crucial to pay attention to the fine print in agreements, especially regarding a future property sale. It’s common for Property Managers or Agents to include language that gives them the right to list your property if you choose to sell it or gives them a right to a commission in the event it sells during the rental period, to the tenant or somebody else.

Property Managers With Exclusive Right to Sell

Watch out for language granting property managers or agents exclusive rights to list your property if you decide to sell. This exclusivity restricts your options and flexibility, limiting your ability to explore alternative selling methods or use the agent of your choosing.

Required Commission Payments

Be aware of language stipulating a commission to property managers or agents if you sell your property to the tenant or another buyer during the rental period. Landlords might be obligated to pay a commission, even if they find an alternative buyer or wish to handle the sale independently. This financial burden can significantly impact both parties.

What If an Exclusivity or Commission Clause Exists?

Like most things in a contract, these clauses are negotiable. If you see something that you believe binds you to certain actions or payments in the event of a sale, ask about it and work to ensure you have the most flexibility if a sale does take place. You may not plan to sell when you sign the paperwork, but life happens and priorities change.
If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].
If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.
Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Ask Eli, Live With Jean playlist.
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C Arlington VA 22203. (703) 390-9460.


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