Selling a buy-to-let property

Selling a buy-to-let property can be more complicated than a normal home sale.

When you own a property as an investment rather than a personal residence, you will need to think about your tenants as well as the potential tax implications of a sale.

Sale of property – tenanted or vacant?

If you have tenants in the property, you will need to give them notice to leave if you wish to sell the property without them in it. However, it is possible to sell with tenants. This can make the sale a quicker process as you will not need to wait for the end of their notice period.

If you sell with tenants in situ, you will be limited to selling to other landlords, although they may be happy to purchase a property with tenants already in place as it means they will not need to advertise for tenants themselves.

If you wait for your tenants to leave, you will not be limited in who you can sell to. You may need to spend some money in putting the property in good order after the tenants have left however.

Dealing with tenants

In the event that you want the tenants to leave, you will need to ensure that you comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement in giving them notice. If the tenants are to remain, you will need to come to some agreement with them about viewings by prospective buyers. Try and keep your relationship with them amicable if possible as this will be a good selling point with any potential landlord buyer.

Costs of sale

You need to be aware of the capital gains tax liability when selling an investment property.

The calculation can be complicated, as tax is only paid on the gain and some exemptions may be available.

For example, if you used to occupy the property as your main residence, you will not have to pay tax in respect of those years.

Your capital gain will be included when calculating your annual tax payment, and you need to be aware that it could put you into a higher tax bracket. It is advisable to speak to an expert to ensure that you fully understand the tax implications of your sale.

In addition to tax, you will also need to pay your estate agent’s fee and the legal costs. Both of these can be offset against any capital gain.

If you have a fixed-term mortgage and will be paying it off early, you will usually be liable for a penalty payment.

The costs can mount up and it is worth working out exactly how much a sale will be before going ahead.

If you are thinking of selling a property and you would like to speak to one of our conveyancing experts today. Contact us on 0345 2413100 or email us at

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