The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) has provided a guide on the rights and responsibilities of Landlords and Property Managers when selling a rental property.
Ending a tenancy
A tenancy agreement doesn’t automatically end when a rental property is sold.
If it’s a fixed-term agreement, you and the buyer must honour the agreement unless otherwise negotiated.
If it’s a periodic agreement, currently if the buyer requests vacant possession of the property as a condition of sale, you must provide the tenant with a Notice to leave (Form 12) for general tenancies, or Notice to leave (Form R12) for rooming accommodation, which allows a minimum of four weeks’ notice after the contract of sale is signed.
From 1 October 2022, legislative changes come into effect around ending a tenancy. From this date, Landlords/Property Managers can end a periodic tenancy on the grounds of preparing the property for sale or if vacant possession is a condition of sale. You will need to provide the tenant with a Notice to leave (Form 12) for general tenancies, or Notice to leave (Form R12) for rooming accommodation, with a minimum of two months’ notice.
The sales process
The Landlord/Property Manager must provide the tenant with a Notice of lessor’s intention to sell premises (Form 10), which includes the sale strategy. You may also request to take photographs of the property for advertising purposes, and request to organise inspection times. Be sure to get written permission from the tenant to use photos of their possessions in any advertising, both inside and outside of the property as advertising a property using photos without a tenant’s permission is an offence.
Prospective buyers will usually want to inspect the property. The Landlord/Property Manager can request to hold an open house, but this can only occur if the tenant agrees in writing. You may also arrange an individual inspection so long as they provide the tenant an Entry notice (Form 9) with at least 24 hours’ notice.
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