Selling or purchasing a private rental property
Selling a property
The landlord must inform a prospective tenant before entering into a lease agreement if they have advertised, or intend to advertise the rented property for sale or if there is an existing sales agency agreement.
If the landlord wants to sell the property during a lease agreement the landlord must advise the tenant in writing within 14 days of entering into a sales agency agreement. The landlord must not advertise the premises for sale, or show the property to prospective purchasers before the 14 days have passed.
If the property is sold - a contract of sale is entered into - the landlord must, as soon as possible after the contract is made advise the tenant of the name of the purchaser and the date from which rent is to be paid to them. At least 14 days written notice must be given.
The tenant can terminate the tenancy if the landlord did not tell them of their intention to sell and they entered into a contract of sale within two months after the start of the lease agreement.
- If written notice of the contract of sale of the property is given, the tenant must exercise their right to terminate within two months of receiving the notice.
- If written notice of the contract of sale of the property is not given, the tenant may terminate the lease at any time.
If the landlord wants to sell a rental property they can show the property to prospective purchasers. They may enter the property to do this no more than twice every seven days, or at a time previously arranged with the agreement of the tenant. If an agreement can't be reached the landlord would need to give reasonable notice specifying a time between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm on any day other than a Sunday or public holiday.
What may be considered reasonable depends on the circumstances of everyone affected by the sale.
For sale signs
A for sale sign can be put up at the property unless the tenant can demonstrate that it would interfere with their reasonable peace, comfort or privacy.
The landlord may take photographs or video footage to advertise a property for sale. The tenant can refuse to have their personal possessions photographed or videoed. A photograph of an area not identifying the tenant's possessions is acceptable - eg bathroom.
Ending a lease because of the sale
How and when the landlord can ask a tenant to leave the tenancy will depend on the lease agreement signed at the start of the tenancy.
If a contract of sale has been signed and it is a condition that vacant possession of the property is given to the new owners the landlord can give the tenant at least 60 days' written notice to end a periodic lease agreement to end a periodic lease agreement.
For a fixed term lease agreement the landlord must allow the tenant to remain at the property until the end date stated on the lease agreement. The landlord can't force a tenant to leave before this date. If a landlord would like a tenant to move out before this date they can try to negotiate this with the tenant.
For a periodic lease agreement if a contract of sale has not been signed the landlord can give the tenant 90 days' written notice to end a periodic lease agreement to end the lease.
If a person buys a property that is currently rented out on a fixed-term lease agreement of more than 12 months they may be able to ask the tenant to leave if the lease:
- isn't registered on the title
- isn't protected by caveat.
For further information on your rights and obligations seek legal advice.
For an alternative version of a document on this page contact Consumer and Business Services.