If you belong to the group of homeowners trying to put up their residential homes for sale but with tenants still living under their homes, then you may be one of the few people who are facing a considerable dilemma. The first question in your mind would probably be: Can it be done? The answer? Yes. But this situation can be more complex than the regular scenario of selling a vacant home or property.
So, before your decide to sell your occupied home you must have prior knowledge of your obligations to the current tenant. Here are some important reminders which will hopefully aid you to avoid potential complications in the future.
Owners of Residential Homes for Sale& Keeping a Positive Relationship with the Tenant
It is of prime importance that you continue to maintain a healthy, positive relationship with your tenant throughout the selling process. This can greatly help in creating a very smooth and hassle-free property sale because it reduces a lot of unwanted events that can be brought about by tenants feeling mistreated by the landlord.
This positive relationship will ensure that the tenant will not resort to destroying the furniture and other elements of the property. They will keep the property well maintained to their own accord if they feel that they respect the landlord because they have been treated very well. A property that is well maintained will also be attractive to potential buyers during their home visits or inspections.
The tenants should therefore be immediately advised about your decision to sell. This can be done through the real estate agent who will act as the bridge between you and the tenant to keep the exchange of information as professional, polite, and favourable for both parties as possible.
You may also negotiate with the tenant on a possible reduction on the rent while the property is being put on sale. This can be one of the best ways to keep the property in its good condition. For example, you can offer a reduction in the monthly rent if the tenant keeps the property clean and will temporarily vacate the home during scheduled viewings of potential buyers.
You can also offer a free rent for a week once an exchange of contracts with a potential buyer becomes successful. Whatever is beneficial for the tenant should also be one of your priorities. The sale process will not only stress you out, but for the tenant this can also become an extremely difficult time.
Tenant Rights and the Lease Agreement Details
In Australia, tenants also have rights that must be upheld. You should remember that your decision to sell the property is not necessarily a valid reason to evict your tenant, especially if you have a fixed term agreement. Tenants have the right to stay if the fixed term agreement has not ended yet. They can even consult with a real estate lawyer or property manager to question whether your actions are legal or not.
So, it is important that you check your lease agreement;this is the contract which you and the tenant signed at the beginning of the tenancy. Make this agreement your top priority and abide by the conditions that are stipulated within it.
These lease agreements will determine how residential homes for sale can be managed. The conditions in the agreement will also dictate what the owners can request from their tenants. Consult with a legal expert to ensure that you do not violate the rights of the tenant by doing actions related to the sale process of the property which will prove unlawful in the long run.
The Rules of Engagement: Issuing Proper Notices
Another important obligation is the issuance of proper notices to your tenant at specific timeframes. You are legally required to issue a written notice regarding your intention to sell your property before it gets listed for sale. This is important because it will give your tenant ample time to plan for his or her relocation strategy.
Different laws govern different states about the issuance of notices regarding potential buyer home visits or inspections.
In NSW, it will depend on the agreement between you and the tenant. If there is no agreement, then you should give notice to no more than twice a week, giving the tenant 48 hours’ notice for every time a planned home visit is expected to occur.
In VIC, you are required to give your tenant a 24-hour written notice regarding a planned home visit by a prospective buyer. The Notice to Tenant/s of Rented Premises Form can be used as a written format.
In QLD, if you are planning to schedule a visit by prospective buyers then you must inform the tenant through a Notice of Lessor’s Intention to Sell Premises. You should give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice.
In WA, the tenant should be given a reasonable amount of time for every home visit. The amount of time should be according to the tenant’s convenience or as agreed upon by both the landlord and the tenant.
In NT, you are required to issue a 24-hour written Notice of Requirement to Enter Premises to the tenant for every time a potential buyer is scheduled for a home visit.
In SA, you can only allow a potential buyer for a home visit of a rented property if you adhere to:
- only one open inspection by a potential buyer for every fortnight, which will require at least 4 days’ notice to the tenant,
- and only two inspections by a potential buyer for every week, which will require at least 24 hours’ notice to the tenant
During these inspections, the tenant has the right to remain within the premises.
In TAS, home inspections by potential buyers can only occur after the owner and the tenant has reached a favourable agreement. In the event that no agreement is reached, then the inspection can only occur if the following conditions are met:
- With a 48-hour written notice to the tenant
- Between 8 in the morning and until 6 in the evening
- In the company of the owner
- On no more than 5 home inspections each week
- And not more than 1 home inspection per day