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4 Rules to Follow if your Landlord Decides to Sell

By George Hadgelias

So your landlord is selling your rental home. It’s a common enough situation, but obviously this presents challenges for both the landlord and the tenant.

It’s difficult for a landlord to showcase their property while there’s people living in it and it’s a disruption for tenants to have potential buyers traipsing in and out of their house every week.

So what are the rules?

4 basic rules when you have to move out of your rental

Of course, the first thing to do is to check with your agent.

But so you have an idea of what the rules are here’s some basic insight that can really help:

1. The landlord is within their rights to put their property on the market at any time

The landlord owns the property and many owners are investors waiting for the right time to sell. As the owner, they have the right to put their property on the market whenever they choose.

2. The landlord must give 24 hours notice before an inspection

Most landlords and tenants are able to amicably reach an arrangement for open for inspections that suits both parties, but if there are any issues it’s important to know where you stand legally so you can seek compensation or refuse an unreasonable request from your landlord.

You must receive at least 24 hours written notice from your landlord when they are going to be showing potential buyers through your home. Agents must also schedule the inspection between the hours of 8am and 6pm, unless they’ve made another arrangements that are agreeable with you. In most cases you’ll be given a monthly schedule so you can plan around OFIs.

The landlord may also wish for photographs to be taken of the property and it’s within your rights to request that the photographer be accompanied by the landlord when they come to your home.

ro tip: It might be a good idea to remove any valuable items before the photographer comes. You don’t want to be advertising your expensive home theatre system with your address, just in case.

3. Your renters agreement remains valid once the property changes hands

Once the property is sold, it doesn’t mean that you need to pack up your things and vacate immediately.

When a new owner takes on a property, they take on the existing renters agreement with it.

If they no longer wish to rent the property to you, they have to issue you with the standard 60 days to vacate notice so you’ll at least have a little bit of time before you have to start looking for somewhere else to live.\

What to do if there is a disagreement

If your landlord is unwilling to compensate you for the inconveniences caused to you it’s important to keep a diary of activities and communications between you and your landlord so you can make a claim at a later if you feel that you’ve been financially or even generally inconvenienced at the fault of the landlord.

Above all, it’s best to help wherever you can. At the end of the day, it is their property and you’d do the same it were yours. Don’t take it personally. 

A quick sell

The sooner your landlord sells, the sooner you know where you stand with your living arrangements, so it’s in everyone’s best interest for the property to be sold quickly and painlessly.

Once the property has sold you’ll have between 30 – 90 days in most cases, depending on the new buyers.

You may be able to apply for a decrease in rent for the period that the property is for sale to compensate you for any inconvenience during the selling and transition process. This is quite a common practice and one that landlords are often willing to agree to.

You may also be able to claim for the cost of a cleaner if there are weekly open houses that require a higher than average level of cleanliness. Most importantly you need to discuss the terms of the agreement with your landlord before you spend any money as you may not be able to claim it later and you certainly don’t want to invest your own money into the sale of someone else’s property. Communicate and don’t make assumptions.

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