Sale Of A Tenanted Property (Qld)
If a tenanted property is sold, the buyer must honour any tenancy agreement in place. Laws which govern the sale of a tenanted property in Queensland are contained in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
Notice of sale
The lessor or lessor’s agent must give the tenant a notice in the approved form that the property is to be placed on the market before or at the first entry of the premises to show a buyer. If the property owner engages a secondary agent to sell the property, the secondary agent must give such a notice to the renting agent before or at the first entry of the premises to show a buyer.
Showing the premises to a prospective buyer
The Act allows a lessor or lessor’s agent to enter a premises to show the premises to a prospective buyer, with conditions. The lessor or agent can do this only if:
- they have given notice to the tenant;
- the entry notice is in the approved form;
- the entry notice is given at least 24 hours before the proposed entry.
Also, a reasonable time must have elapsed since a previous entry was made to show the premises to a prospective buyer.
Another person can accompany the lessor or agent if this is needed to achieve the purpose of entry. A lessor or agent must not allow a prospective buyer to enter the premises without them unless the tenant agrees.
Entry must be made at a reasonable time, and unless the tenant agrees, not on a Sunday or public holiday, or after 6pm or before 8am. The lessor or agent must state a period of up to 2 hours within which entry will happen, and they can only enter during this period.
The Act requires the lessor to take reasonable steps to ensure the tenant has quiet enjoyment of the premises. Additionally, the lessor or lessor’s agent must not interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant using the premises. If the tenant feels the process of showing potential buyers through the premises is infringing their rights, they can issue a breach to the lessor. This is why communication and negotiation are important to minimise inconvenience to all parties, and why an agent should limit inspections to qualified buyers only.
When advertising a property, a lessor or lessor’s agent must not use a photo or image that shows a tenant’s possession, unless there is written consent from the tenant. The maximum penalty is a fine of 20 penalty units ($2669).
Open house or auction
A lessor or agent must not conduct or allow an auction or open house at the premises without the tenant’s written consent. The maximum penalty is a fine of 20 penalty units ($2669).
Notice to leave
If a tenant is under a periodic agreement (one which recurs automatically and has no specified end date), the lessor can give the tenant a notice to leave the premises because the lessor has signed a contract to sell the premises with vacant possession. This is called a notice to leave for “sale contract”.
A tenant can give notice of intention to leave the premises if during the first 2 months of the tenancy the premises are advertised for sale, or the lessor or agent enters the premises to show the premises to a prospective buyer. This does not apply if the tenant was given written notice of the intention to sell before the agreement was entered into. This notice is called a notice of intention to leave for “intention to sell”.
If a property is to be repossessed by a mortgagee which had not agreed to it being rented, a tenant can be given a notice to leave the premises within 2 months. If the mortgagee had agreed to it being used as a rental property, the mortgagee can end a periodic agreement with 2 months’ notice but cannot end a fixed-term agreement unless the tenant agrees. This notice is called a notice to vacate from mortgagee to tenant.
Once the property is sold
The tenant must be given an “attornment notice” upon the sale of the property. The notice must state the buyer’s name and address and direct the tenant to make all future rent payments to the buyer.
For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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