Selling a Tenanted Property in WA
Selling a tenanted property is often seen as a complicated dilemma, for both parties… but it doesn’t have to be that way. With understanding and respect to both Landlord and Tenant’s rights, and the right advice/assistance from an experienced settlement agency, selling a tenanted property in WA can proceed smoothly.
This information is only provided as a guideline for selling a tenanted property in WA, and is not a substitute for seeking advice from an experienced settlement agency like Vicki Philipoff Settlements to avoid complications during this process… and ‘settle with ease.’
Fixed Term Lease Agreement
Tenants are not required to vacate before the end of a fixed term agreement. If the property is sold before the end of the lease agreement, the new owners inherit tenants with the property, and are entitled to take over the rights and responsibilities of the Landlord – with current terms and conditions continuing until end of fixed term.
In circumstances where either tenants want to end their lease once the property is put on the market, or owners want to sell the property as vacant, a mutual agreement can be maid between both parties to terminate the tenancy. These agreements should legitimized in writing. Compensations may be applicable for any inconveniences.
Periodic Term Lease Agreement
If owners are pursuing a vacant property settlement, they must provide tenants with a 30-day termination notice.
With a period term agreement, either party can give a “no grounds” notice of termination at any time. Tenants can end the agreement by giving at least 21 days written notice, and Landlord/Lessors can end tenancy by giving at least 60 days written notice.
For tenants of a period term agreement who wish to stay on after the property has been sold – a continuation or new contract can be negotiated with the new owner, but they have no obligation to agree to this.
Viewings & Inspections
This is often the pain-point between Landlord and Tenants during the process of selling a tenanted property in WA. Landlord rights includes showing the premises to prospective buyers at ‘any reasonable time, on a reasonable number of occasions, and with reasonable notice in writing to the tenant.’
“Reasonable time” refers to:
• 8am – 6pm weekdays
• 9am – 5pm Saturdays
• At any other time agreed upon by both parties
Reasonable notice for showing prospects the property is not specifically defined in The Act, and is thus open to negotiations between Tenant and Landlord. Some examples of agreements may be similar to:
• Landlord can only show the property if a convenient appointment time has been made with tenants,
• The property will be open for inspection at an agreed time each week (or fortnight, month etc.), until an agreed upon date,
• The tenant will pay reduced rent as compensation for any inconveniences caused by opening the property for inspection
Tenants generally cannot refuse to agree to days and times for showing the property, unless the Landlord is not giving enough written notice or is coming to the property too often that it may be considered unreasonable.
TIP: We recommend developing an honest, trusting relationship between Landlord and Tenants, or Real Estate Agents and Tenants, as this relationship plays an important role in a smooth settlement process of a tenanted property.
Owner Landlords will usually want to photograph the property, interior and exterior, for sales advertising. It’s important for Tenants and Landlord to come to an agreement about what will be photographed and where photographs will be used, in order to avoid any legal complications that may arise down the track.
TIP: Tenants should try to remove valuable items before photographs are taken if they feel vulnerable to risks of theft. Photos should not include identifying features. Tenants who are concerned about safety if photos reveal whereabouts, seek further advice as you may have protection under the Restraining Orders Act.
Remember, Tenants are not obligated to go to any special effort or expense outside of regular tenancy agreement to aid the Landlord’s selling process.