Things To Consider When Selling a Tenanted Property

Dominic Nguyen

Dominic Nguyen

It’s not always easy to sell a property with tenant. There are tenant protection rules that you must follow, and you have to rely on your tenant to keep the property clean and presentable at all times. However, if you work with the tenant throughout the process, the process will be much less stressful.

Advantages of Selling Tenanted Property

When you sell a tenanted property, you’ll continue to receive rent throughout the selling process. Tenanted properties are more attractive to buyers who are buying properties for investment purposes, as they won’t have to look for renters and will be able to receive rent as soon as the purchase is settled. In addition, having a tenant in the property can reassure your potential buyers that they will be able to find renters for this property.

Disadvantages of Selling Tenanted Property

The main disadvantage of selling tenanted property is that in most states, you are required to give written notice to the tenant at least 24 hours in advance whenever you want to show the property to potential buyers.

Also, with someone living in the property, you can’t rearrange things as you like to make the property more presentable. If you have a messy tenant, your property may look less attractive to potential buyers.

Furthermore, if a buyer prefers to buy a property with vacant possession, having a tenant in the property may be seen as an inconvenience.

Keeping Your Tenant in the Loop

If you’re considering selling a tenanted property, you should let your tenant know right away. The sale process will affect both you and your tenant. Not only are they facing the possibility of having to find a new place, but you also have to rely on them to keep the property in a good condition for inspections.

If your potential buyers want to inspect the property, you need to give your tenant advance notice and keep in mind that someone is living in the property. You should speak with your tenant to decide the best time to allow access to the property which is suitable for the both of you. If your tenant wishes, they can choose to stay in the property during the inspection. Be considerate to your tenant and their personal belongings. If you plan to take photos of the property for advertising purposes, you should also speak with your tenant about your ideas and what works for the both of you. If you are putting a ‘for sale’ sign on the property, this has to be done in a way that does not interfere with your tenant’s peace, comfort or privacy.

You may offer a financial incentive for your tenant to keep the property clean and to vacate the property when your agent needs to show the place to potential buyers. This will make the sale process less stressful for both you and your tenant. If you’re open and honest with your tenant, you’re more likely to have their cooperation.

In NSW, if you fail to let your tenant know when they signed the lease that you intend to sell the property, then they have the right to break the lease and move out when they find out that you are selling the property.

Vacation of Tenant

If you have a fixed-term lease agreement with your tenant, they have the right to stay in the property until the end of the term. In other words, you can’t just ask them to leave because you’re selling the property.

If you are selling your property in NSW and Contracts have been exchanged subject to vacant possession, the tenant will have to move out of the property. You must give your tenant a written termination notice 30 days in advance if you have a fixed-term lease agreement or 90 days in advance if you have a periodic agreement.

If your tenant has stayed past the end date of the fixed-term lease, the lease becomes a continuation of tenancy agreement. You can terminate this lease by giving your tenant a 60-day notice. Alternatively, you can let your tenant know about your intention to sell the property and give them a 30-day notice once you exchange a contract with a buyer.

DISCLAIMER:  The content of this publication does not constitute legal advice and is intended only to provide a summary and general overview  We do not guarantee that it is current.  You should seek specialist legal advice or other professional advice about your specific circumstances.  Your access to this publication is not intended to create nor does it create a solicitor-client relationship between you and Unified Lawyers.

Dominic Nguyen
Dominic Nguyen

Dominic is one of Sydney's leading property lawyers with over 10 years experience in this area of law. Dominic has outstanding knowledge and extensive experience in family law, conveyancing, buying and selling of businesses, commercial and retail leasing, building and construction, strata law, easements, opposing development applications and compulsory acquisitions.