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What are my rights as a tenant if my landlord decides to sell?

August 8, 2022

Great question. Firstly, you will receive a written notice from your property manager that the landlord intends to sell. At this point, the property manager will also introduce you to the sales agent commissioned to sell the property.

 The type of lease you're on will determine what happens next. If you are in a fixed-term lease, you can stay put as this trumps a sales contract between the current owner and the buyer. Also, if you want to move on once you're notified of the landlord's intention to sell, you can do that too. However, there are notice periods that you'll need to follow, and these terms are different in each state and territory. In Queensland, tenants only need to give the landlord two weeks' notice if they're in a lease, and it's 21 days in NSW. If you’re not in a lease, you van leave whenever you like.

 That said, if a renter is not on a fixed-term tenancy, and the buyer is an owner-occupier, they will need you to vacate the property. In this situation, there are different notice periods in each state and territory. In Queensland, for example, the tenant will be given a four-week notice period to vacate from the date both parties sign the sale contract, and in NSW, it is 30 days. If the buyer is an investor, they will probably look to negotiate a fixed-term lease with you through the property manager.

 Once the salesperson gets into the property to get some photos taken, they will talk to you about getting access to the property for inspections. Usually, if a property is tenanted, a mid-week open and an inspection on Saturday are considered reasonable. However, the listing agent can't access the property unless arranged with the tenant. Also, the sales agent will need to give you some notice before the first inspection. The notice period is 14 days in NSW.

 As for the property presentation, the tenant doesn't have to go to any trouble. However, the landlord might offer you some incentives to ensure the property presents in its best light – but don't expect any carrots.

 Also, secure any pets that may become agitated if confronted with unfamiliar faces, and if possible, try not to be around during inspections.

 Finally, if you like living in the rental property and are ready to buy and it's in your price range, there is no reason you can't throw your hat into the ring with an offer.

 To find out more, contact your local Raine & Horne Property Manager today.