There is no nice way to put it. Sometimes as tenants, your landlord wishes to sell while you are still living in the property and your lease has not expired. That is their legal right.
However, it usually has nothing to do with you at all. In fact, there are lots of reasons why landlords choose to sell. With a lot changing and affecting the housing market, it is becoming more common to sell. Some reasons your landlord may decide to do so include:
- Needing a more affordable and worthwhile rental
- The property does not suit their situation anymore
- They have found a better deal
MGM Martin follows our own Property Management policies, each real estate company changes their rules depending on the suburb, including providing notice to tenants, whether tenants have rights with photography and ‘for sale’ signs and how often inspections can be held for potential buyers.
But as much as it is your right as a tenant to break the lease at any time, there are rules that landlords must follow if they wish to sell.
Landlords can sell at any time
Across Australia, landlords have the right to sell their property, whenever they like and no matter if it is occupied. The law also protects you as tenants for not being kicked out of your home. The law states your current lease remains valid and is just updated to include the new landlords after the sale is finalised. You don’t need to move out of the property, it just changes hands. The terms just continue as on your original lease.
You aren’t expected to move out
If you have signed a lease with your landlord that is still current, then you don’t have to move. If you are on a lease that is less than six months, landlords are required to give you 30 days written notice to see if you’d like to continue or move out. The lease is tied to the property, not the person who owns it. As long as you stick with your agreement from the contract, there will be no interruption.
Tenants must receive notice before inspections
There will be people coming through your house while the landlord has the property on the market but they must give you decent notice, including a 14 days’ notice before the first viewing. There is no expectation on you during this time. While it is preferred that the house is tidy, landlords have their own copies of keys and conduct inspections without you needing to be in the house. It can be a great time to get out and complete errands, especially considering inspections usually go for 20 minutes tops.
While there is no threat for you if your landlord does decide to sell, the only thing that could be an ‘inconvenience’ is people in your home. By doing your part to make the house look desirable, the chance of purchase is much higher and could result in your landlord selling the property quickly.
For those in New South Wales in particular, we do have different tenant rights to other Australian states and territories. These laws are in place to ensure your rights as a tenant are protected.
In NSW, landlords must provide a tenant two weeks’ written notice before the first inspection. They must also give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice for any inspections following that, which cannot be more than two a week. The new and previous landlord cannot legally evict you as a tenant unless terms of your original lease are violated. Your landlord must give you 30 days’ notice if they decide to terminate a lease at the end of an agreement, but if the agreement is periodic, a landlord has the right to evict you. However, they must provide you with reasonable notice if you have breached your tenancy agreement.
Don’t forget, you have the right to check your lease agreement at any time if you are unsure of your rights. The purpose of these contracts is to cover both the landlord and tenant if situations happen during your agreement. Referring to your own lease, you should be able to find information that covers what happens if your landlord decides to sell. Many contracts tend to state that the landlord is allowed to sell and if they wish for you to leave the property, they must follow the eviction process. However, contracts can be tough. Follow up with your landlord or real estate if you are unsure.