What to do when your landlord decides to sell

question-markLast week we wrote about selling a tenanted property, which can provide its challenges for the landlord, and also make for a difficult time for tenants.

It is in the best interest of all parties to make a quick sale, as this will help reduce disruptions for tenants, and ultimately it means that tenants will know sooner rather than later where they stand in terms of living arrangements.

What can you do if you’re a tenant living in a property for sale?

You should get in contact with the selling agent if you’ve been alerted that the property you’re living in is for sale. It is best for all parties if inspection times can be agreed upon in advance. If there are any issues with inspections, then know where you stand legally.

In Victoria, prospective buyers can be shown around the property as long as 24 hours written notice is given. In some cases it may help if you ask the selling agent to provide you with a monthly inspection schedule so you can work around it and be prepared, or ask for inspections to always be held at certain times of the week.

Keep in mind that your rental agreement will still be valid once the property is sold. There is however the chance that the new owner will want to move in, but if this happens they will need to give you the appropriate amount of notice.

Landlords and selling agents understand that it can be tough on tenants when the property goes up for sale, so don’t be shy in discussing any concerns you might have.

If you’re finding it difficult to keep your home at a higher than average cleanliness level due to the inspections then your landlord may be willing to cover the cost of a cleaner for you. In some cases a landlord is also willing to decrease your rent for a period to help compensate for any inconvenience caused.

At the end of the day, it is much easier to cooperate and to help your landlord by keeping your home clean and tidy. If you make a good impression with new buyers then they are more likely to keep you on as tenants if they are buying as an investment, and you will get a good reference from your real estate agent too.

If you’re unsure about your tenancy rights in Victoria then you can find more information at www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing-and-accommodation/renting.