Selling a rental property can be stressful, add in a landlord or tenant who isn’t willing to cooperate, and the stress levels can soar. Let’s clarify the facts, rules and rights of both tenants and landlords in Ontario when selling a rental property:
- Landlords can sell their home at any time.
Although this is true, landlords cannot ‘trick’ their clients into leaving by pretending to move in, but instead fixing up the place and selling it. If this happens tenants can sue the landlord for damages including moving costs and any rent paid over and above their current rent.
- A tenant cannot be evicted before the end of their lease term, if they have a lease –
This means that buyers who purchase the home must respect the terms of the tenants previous lease once they take over as the new landlords. The tenants cannot be evicted until the end of their current lease term.
- Tenants must permit showings to potential buyers, as long as 24 hours advance written notice is given, and the showing takes place between 8 am and 8 pm. Tenants need to make sure that any pets they own are kept securely during showings. Tenants are permitted to be home during showings.
The myth here is that the landlord cannot show the home to potential buyers if the tenants still have a lease for several months. This is not the case.If a tenant refuses to let potential buyers enter the house for showings, even after proper notice has been given, then the landlord can start eviction proceedings, as the tenants have effectively breached the contract. If the tenant’s actions prevent the home from selling in a timely manner the landlord can sue the tenants for damages.
- If a tenants lease has ended, they automatically become a monthly tenant and must still be given 60 days notice to vacate, provide that a buyer has already agreed unconditionally to buy the home.
A recent article in the Toronto Star by prominent Real Estate Lawyer, Mark Weisleder, advises landlords to approach the sale of their rental property in one of two ways:
(1) Work out a Plan – Approach your client first and work out a plan for showings that will accommodate both of your best interests; this way your client is fully aware that the property is being sold and will have ample time to prepare for showings. They’ll have time to protect their valuables, make plans for pets and secure future living arrangements if necessary.
(2) Help Your Tenants Move On – A more involved approach that some landlords take, is to assist their tenants in finding a new place to live, before putting the home up for sale. With this approach the tenants get to find another place without being evicted and the landlord gets time to fix the home up and make it more presentable to potential buyers.
I hope that you found the content of the blog article useful! Please share it with any friends or family who may find it interesting. And as always, please contact my team with any questions you may have about selling a rental property or the Barrie real estate market.
To view Mark’s article in the Toronto Star click here.
Lotus Yuen Team
About Selling a Rental Property