Selling a Tenanted Property

Selling a Tenanted Property

When a rental property is being sold, both the landlord and tenant have rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act. It’s best to fully understand what you are dealing with.

Showing the home

Before showing the rental unit, the landlord must have the tenant’s agreement and usually the notice is given at least 24 hours prior to the showing time. Once notice has been given, the landlord can show the rental unit even if the tenant is not home.  The landlord must keep in mind that a tenant is entitled to reasonable privacy and freedom from disturbance.

Buyer wants to live in the unit

When the new owner, or a close family member of the new owner, intends to live in the rental unit, the  2 Month Notice to End Tenancy can be served before the buyer takes possession of the home. The new owner must make the request in writing to the current landlord before notice can be served.

Buyer wants to use the rental unit for another purpose

The tenant can be served a 2-Month Notice to End Tenancy after the title of the property has been transferred and all required government permits and approvals are in place when the purchaser intends to:

  • Demolish the rental unit or do major repairs or renovations that require the building or rental unit be empty.
  • Convert the rental unit to a strata property unit, a non-profit co-operative or society, or a not-for-profit housing co-operative under the Cooperative Association Act.
  • Convert the rental unit to non-residential use, such as a shop.
  • Convert the rental unit into a caretaker’s premises.

Giving notice on a month-to-month tenancy

For a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant a 2 Month Notice to End Tenancy. The tenant is also entitled to financial compensation equal to 1 month’s rent. A tenant on the other hand can end the tenancy earlier by giving the landlord at least 10-days written notice and paying the rent up to, and including, the planned move-out date.

Fixed term tenancies

If the tenancy agreement requires the tenant to move out at the end of a fixed term, the landlord does not need to give the tenant any notice to end the tenancy. The tenant must move out on the end date and is not entitled to any financial compensation. Most importantly, the landlord cannot require the tenant to move before the end date unless the landlord and tenant can come to an agreement to end the tenancy earlier.

If the agreement does not require the tenant to move out at the end of the lease, then the 2-month notice procedure still applies, and the tenant is entitled compensation equal to 1 month’s rent.

Security & Pet Damage Deposits

If the buyer assumes the existing tenancy, then he or she becomes responsible for the tenant’s security deposit or pet damage deposit. The transfer of deposit monies in should be dealt with in the contract of sale or the closing settlement.

This is just a brief outline on selling a tenanted property. For complete details and information please contact The Residential Tenancy Branch.