When your landlord has advised that they’ve decided to sell, it can be stressful. Whether you’re a new tenant or have been there for years, the reality is that the home can be sold at any point during your tenancy, as the landlord’s circumstances can change.
So where does this leave you? Without a doubt, you’ll have questions. Here we outline what happens next, what to expect from your property manager or landlord and what is expected of you as the existing tenant.
Can your lease be terminated?
If your landlord decides to sell and you’re in a fixed-term lease agreement, they can’t terminate your lease during this agreement period or whilst the property is on the market. You can’t be evicted because the property is being sold as long as you have a signed agreement.
You may, however, come to a mutual agreement with the landlord if you decide to move out of the property before the sale, and they agree to terminate your fixed-term agreement without penalty. If you leave after the property is sold, the fixed-term agreement terms will still stand with the new landlord.
If you have a periodic agreement and the landlord wants to sell the property vacant, you’ll be issued a 90-day no-grounds termination notice.
Notice for open home inspections
When your landlord advises that they want to sell, the property manager and the sales agent must provide you with written notice of the intention to sell at least 14 days before the first open home. They must also advise when the property will be listed and marketed for sale.
In NSW, the sales agent should give you 48 hours’ notice for open homes or private inspections outside the agreed open home times and dates. You’ll be expected to reasonably provide access for prospective buyers to view the property at the agreed times.
You can negotiate a suitable time frame for future inspections after the first inspection, but you’re not obligated to agree to more than two inspections per week.
Adhering to open home dates and times and consistently presenting the property well can become time-consuming and stressful. However, the more cooperative you are and your efforts in displaying a well-maintained property show potential investors the type of tenant you are, giving them a good reason to continue your tenancy.
To help keep a standard of presentation and to help you, the sales agent or landlord may offer to employ a cleaner, gardener and landscaper throughout the sale campaign.
Photography for marketing purposes
It’s hard to sell a property without relevant photographs, so you can expect that at some stage, the selling agent will want to arrange for professional photographs to be taken. You’ll also be asked to permit a photographer to come onsite and agree that the photos can be used for marketing purposes. Be sure to remove any items you do not want to be photographed and made visible to the public.
What happens after the sale?
Once the property is sold, what are your next steps?
If the new owner is also a landlord, you want to stay, and you’re in a fixed-term agreement, you can rest easy knowing that the terms and conditions of your current lease will automatically transfer to the new owner.
If you want to stay but are in a periodic agreement where the lease has technically expired, the new landlord may agree to continue the lease with a ‘continuing agreement’. You won’t need to sign a new lease and won’t be given notice to vacate. Without this agreement, you may be given notice to vacate the property.
If the new landlord wants the property vacant and you’re on a periodic lease, you’ll be given 30 days’ notice to vacate by law. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open to ensure everyone is clear and on the same page.
If you’re renting and have any questions relating to the sale of the property you are in, connect with one of our friendly property managers, who’ll guide you through the process.