Renting and the landlord is selling? What now?
IT’S the news no happy tenant wants to hear: the landlord is selling.
But as with most change, it’s a lot less frightening when you know what to expect.
Here are five rules to remember when your landlord decides to sell.
The landlord is allowed to sell at any time
In all states and territories, landlords are legally allowed to sell their property whenever they like. But fear not: the law protects tenants from being turfed out on a whim.
Your lease is still valid
According to Amy Sanderson, LJ Hooker’s head of property investment management, your current lease (which is also known as a tenancy agreement) remains valid when your landlord puts their property on the market.
And remains so after the sale, which means you don’t have to move out when the property changes hands.
“A landlord cannot terminate a fixed-term agreement for the sale of the property,” Sanderson says.
And so, if the property is sold to an investor who wants a tenant, it’s possible you will experience very few changes.
Sanderson explains, however, that it can also lead to a termination of the lease, if mutual consent is reached.
“If you are on a fixed-term agreement, but you want to move out because the property is being sold, you may be able to end the tenancy agreement early by a mutual consent with the landlord,” she says.
If the new owner wants you to move out, they must comply with the terms of the existing lease.
Landlords must give tenants notice before an inspection … and you can be there
The landlord must give the tenants 14 days’ notice before the first viewing.
Meanwhile, Sanderson says tenants “are obliged to make all reasonable efforts to agree on a suitable time and day for the showing” and must also keep the property in a “reasonable state of cleanliness”.
“If an agreement isn’t reached to show the property, the landlord is only able to show the property a maximum of two times per week, and must give the tenant at least 48 hours’ notice each time.”
Renters also have the right to be at the property when it’s opened for inspection.
Renters have a say when it comes to photography and signage
The outside of a rental property can be photographed without permission. But if the landlord wishes to take photos inside the property, they must obtain permission from their tenant.
The tenant must also give their consent to signage and on-site auctions.
Renters can get compensation
Sanderson explains that landlords sometimes offer their tenants compensation to encourage them to move out of the property as soon as possible.
“In some states, a tenant may give notice, even if they are on a lease, once the property is listed for sale,” she says.
“Many property owners offer tenants a compensation for the inconvenience, and this avoids the complaints.”