As our situations change over the course of our lives, there are various reasons as to why landlords decide to sell their tenanted properties. No matter the reason, landlords only have a similar goal in mind when selling: to sell without any hiccups or hurdles along the way.
So it’s only normal that you may be asking the question “how can I sell my property even if it is tenanted? And we are happy to say there IS a way, with guidelines in place to help both you and your tenant have a fair and equitable experience.
Below are the answers to the frequently asked questions about selling a tenanted property.
1. Can you sell your investment property with tenants?
This is usually the initial inquiry of a property owner. The short answer is yes, you can sell a property with tenants still inhabiting it.
The property owner is obliged to:
- Provide tenants with a Notice of lessor’s intention to sell premises (Form 10), which includes the property’s marketing plan.
- Possess a copy of each Entry Notice before entering the rental property (if the property owner hired a selling agent)
- Conduct an open house or on-site auction (if the tenants agree in writing)
- Ensure that tenants keep their right to quiet enjoyment of the property
It is also important to note that a tenancy agreement does not automatically end once the property is sold so even if you are selling the property, the tenant is in their rights to stay on when the home tranfers to the new owner under their existing lease agreement.
2. Can you evict tenants to sell your property?
This depends on the tenancy agreement. In Queensland, there are two types of leases:
Fixed-term agreement – As its name suggests, this is a contract that contains the tenancy’s definite start date and end date. This allows the tenant to ensure their tenure for that specific period, even if the property is sold to a new owner.
Periodic agreement – While this lease contains a definite date, it does not have an end date. This gives a lot of flexibility to both property owners and tenants.
For fixed-term agreements, property owners have no right to evict any tenant unless the latter violates the lease. This means that tenants can stay until the end of the term and until the buyer takes over the tenancy. However, both parties can agree (in writing) to end the contract early.
For periodic agreements, property owners should provide the tenant a Notice to leave (Form R12) or Notice to leave (Form 12) four weeks prior to the signing of the sale agreement
3. Can the new owner evict tenants after the purchase?
The new property owners also have no right to evict tenants who signed fixed agreements, unless there was a violation involved or if both parties reach a mutual agreement.
4. What are the tenants’ rights when the landlord is selling?
Before arranging an open house, the property owner must have the tenant’s written permission. The seller should provide the tenant an Entry notice (Form 9) at least 24 hours before the planned entry. If the tenant agrees, the open house must be planned appropriately. The written consent is also required if the property owner wishes to take and publish photos that show the tenant’s rental property and possessions.
During the open house, tenants have the right to remain in their rental property. However, property owners should remind their tenants of their responsibility for their possessions.
Should the owner failed to get the tenant’s consent before the open house or auction is an offense under Section 2014 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. reasonable time. The event should not take place on public holidays, Sundays, or any day prior to 8 am or after 6 pm, unless the tenant is fine with it.
5. Can tenants refuse open house?
Tenants have the right to refuse open houses and inspections, and they are not required to provide any reason to support their decision. Keep in mind that tenants are entitled to reasonable comfort, peace, and privacy. However, with open negotiations and notice, many tenants are happy to allow for reasonable open homes.