19 April 2022

Tenant and landlord rights when selling a rental home

Emma McLaren
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Tenants and landlords have different rights and responsibilities when a home is being sold. Those rights and responsibilities vary depending on where the house is located in Australia.

Read on to find out everything you need to know no matter where your property is located, including:

  • Tenant lease implications.
  • Buyer inspections.
  • Property photography requirements.

New South Wales

Tenant lease implications

  • New South Wales tenants on a fixed-term lease cannot be evicted by the old or new landlord until the end date of their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.
  • Fixed-term lease tenants must be given at least 30 days' notice in writing if the old or new landlord wants to terminate the lease at the end of their agreement.
  • Tenants on periodic agreements must be given at least 90 days' notice in writing before eviction unless they have breached their agreement's terms.

Buyer inspections

  • New South Wales tenants must be provided with two weeks' notice in writing before the first buyer inspection and with at least 48 hours' notice for any other inspections.
  • No more than two buyer inspections can be held in a week.
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.
  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

Victoria

Tenant lease implications

  • Victorian tenants on fixed-term lease agreements cannot be evicted before the end date on their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.
  • Tenants on a periodic agreement must be given at least 60 days' written notice before eviction unless they have breached their agreement's terms.

Buyer inspections

  • Victorian tenants must be provided with at least two weeks' notice of the first buyer inspection.
  • Victorian tenants must also receive either half a day's rent or $30 (whichever amount is greater) as compensation for any buyer inspection.
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.
  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

Queensland

Tenant lease implications

  • Queensland tenants on fixed-term lease agreements cannot be evicted before the end date on their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.
  • Tenants on a periodic agreement must be given at least 28 days' written notice before eviction unless they have breached their agreement's terms.

Buyer inspections

  • Qld landlords must give their tenants written notice of their intention to sell plus at least 24 hours' notice for any inspections (including the first).
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.
  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

South Australia

Tenant lease implications

  • South Australian tenants on fixed-term lease agreements cannot be evicted before the end date on their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.
  • Tenants on a periodic agreement must be given at least 60 days' written notice if a sales contract has been signed or at least 90 days' notice if it hasn't.

Buyer inspections

  • South Australian landlords must give their tenants at least 14 days' notice of their intention to sell the property and then 'reasonable notice' of any inspections.
  • Inspections must be held between 8 am and 8 pm from Monday through to Saturday (excluding public holidays).
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.
  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

Western Australia

Tenant lease implications

  • Western Australian tenants on fixed-term lease agreements cannot be evicted before the end date on their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.

  • Tenants on a periodic agreement must be given at least 30 days' written notice before eviction unless they have breached their agreement's terms.

Buyer inspections

  • Western Australian tenants are entitled to receive 'reasonable written notice' before any potential buyer's inspection.
  • Inspections must be held between 8 am, and 6 pm from Monday to Friday and 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday.
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.
  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

Tasmania

Tenant lease implications

  • Tasmanian tenants on fixed-term lease agreements cannot be evicted before the end date on their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.
  • Tenants on a periodic agreement must be given at least 42 days' written notice before eviction unless they have breached their agreement's terms.

Buyer inspections

  • Tasmanian tenants are entitled to receive 48 hours' notice in writing before any potential buyer's inspection.
  • Inspections must be held between 8 am and 6 pm.
  • Only one inspection is allowed per day, up to a maximum of 5 per week.
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.

  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

Australian Capital Territory

Tenant lease implications

  • ACT tenants on a fixed-term lease cannot be evicted by the old or new landlord until the end date of their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.
  • Fixed-term lease tenants must be given at least eight weeks' notice in writing if the old or new landlord wants to terminate the lease at the end of their agreement.

Buyer inspections

  • ACT tenants must be provided with written notice of a landlord's intention to sell, as well as at least 24 hours notice in writing before any potential buyer inspections.
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.
  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

Northern Territory

Tenant lease implications

  • Northern Territory tenants on fixed-term lease agreements cannot be evicted before the end date on their agreement unless it is by mutual consent or they breach the terms of the lease.
  • Fixed-term lease tenants must be given at least 14 days' notice in writing if the old or new landlord wants to terminate the lease at the end of their agreement.
  • Tenants on a periodic agreement must be given at least 42 days' written notice before eviction unless they have breached their agreement's terms.

Buyer inspections

  • Northern Territory tenants must be provided with at least 24 hours' notice of a potential buyer's inspection.
  • Both landlords and tenants can be at the property during a potential buyer's inspection if they wish.

Property photography

  • External property photos can be taken without tenants' permission.
  • Internal photos cannot be taken before gaining tenants' permission.

The bottom line

Both tenants and landlords have rights and responsibilities when a home is being sold in Australia. Make sure you understand those rights in your State or Territory if you're in this situation.

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