Selling a tenanted property in WA can seem like a grey area to property owners and renters! Finding out your rights and obligations is often easier than you think.
Things to consider when selling a tenanted property
In Western Australia, sellers must provide the following to a buyer before settlement:
Lease: Vacant possession is required under contract though special terms can be noted for existing leases.
Property Condition Report : This outlines the condition of a property and can help resolve damage disputes.
Rent Statement: A record of payments made by tenants. It can protect tenants in disputes and also show a property’s earnings to buyers.
Bond Documentation: Property managers can help you sign the bond over to the buyer with Bond Administration (DMIRS). For self-managed properties, our settlement experts can assist.
Your Rights When Selling Your Property
Before the sale, you must provide your tenants with a letter of intent to sell the property. After doing this, you can begin inspections and advertising to buyers.
Tensions can be high with your tenants during this time though we have found the following to help:
- Arrange inspections at reasonable hours for your tenants.
- Notify your tenants the moment you have reached an agreement with a buyer.
- Don’t miss important deadlines and notification periods that can allow tenants to break their lease early.
- Offer incentives to your tenants for them to keep the property clean and ready for inspections.
- When advertising the property, you can display a sale sign on the property. There are no laws that require tenants to allow you to take pictures.
Rent will be split between the buyer and the seller at settlement either by a property manager or settlement agent. Sellers are entitled to rent up to and including the settlement date, but if the tenant is in arrears, the seller cannot claim the arrears from the buyer.
A Tenant’s Rights During the Sale of a Property
There are laws in place to protect renters when their home is up for sale.
While tenants must keep the home in reasonable condition, they don’t have to provide extra help to make the house presentable for sale. They can also deny entry to the property on two accounts:
- for the purposes of photography and to protect their privacy;
- for an unreasonable amount of viewings.
Can You Ask Your Tenants To Leave When You Want To Sell?
When selling an investment property in WA, the following applies:
- For fixed term leases, tenants can’t be forced to move out. However, there can be a mutual agreement to terminate the lease.
- For a periodic term lease, at least 30 days of notice must be given for tenants to vacate.
What property settlement agents can do to help
At KDD, our settlement agents can help with the sale of a tenanted property in a number of ways. If you are self-managing your property, having an expert’s guidance can ensure a quick and easier settlement than doing it all yourself!
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 9296 8717.