What Happens When Your Rental Property Sells

Navigating Your Rights: What Happens When Your Rental Property Sells

Finding out that the property you rent is on the market can be a source of anxiety. However, knowing your rights as a tenant can make this change much smoother and less intimidating. Below are five essential rules to help you navigate this situation with confidence.

  1. Landlord’s Right to Sell
    Firstly, it’s important to understand that landlords have the legal right to sell their property at any time, regardless of the state or territory. But as a tenant, you are also protected by laws that prevent arbitrary eviction. This means that the sale of the property does not automatically result in you having to move out.
  2. Validity of Your Lease
    Your lease or tenancy agreement does not become void when your landlord decides to sell. Whether the property remains with the current landlord or changes hands, your lease remains valid and enforceable. If you are in a fixed-term agreement, you cannot be forced to leave simply because the property is sold. However, ending a tenancy agreement early can be possible through mutual agreement between you and the landlord.
  3. Inspections and Notice Requirements
    Landlords must provide tenants with two weeks’ written notice before conducting the first inspection and a minimum of 48 hours’ notice for subsequent inspections. Note that these cannot occur more than twice a week. While you should make reasonable efforts to accommodate these showings, you also have the right to be present during them. The property should be kept in a reasonable state of cleanliness, reflecting your responsibility as a tenant.
  4. Control Over Photography and Signage
    Tenants have a say when it comes to photography and signage. Exterior photographs may be taken without your permission, but interior photographs require your consent. Similarly, your approval is needed for ‘for sale’ signs and the conducting of on-site auctions. This ensures your rights to privacy and enjoyment of the property are not infringed upon.
  5. Compensation and Moving Out
    In some cases, landlords may offer compensation or a rent reduction to tenants when the property is listed for sale although not obligatory. If in a fixed term lease Landlords must give you 30 days’ notice if they wish to terminate the lease at the end of the tenancy agreement. If the agreement is periodic, a landlord can evict you, as long as they give you 90 days’ notice, or 14 days’ notice if you breach your tenancy agreement

Final Thoughts

The prospect of moving due to a sale can be unsettling, but being well-informed about your rights can provide significant peace of mind. Always communicate openly with your landlord or property manager and consult your local tenants’ advice service if you have questions or concerns. Understanding the legal framework and your rights can help you navigate the process smoothly and ensure your interests are protected.

Further Information:

Tenants Union of NSW: Sales of rented premises

Landlords Guide: Selling Tenanted Properties