A landlord must tell existing or prospective tenants that a property is on the market. A landlord then has the right to bring buyers through, subject to reasonable conditions placed on that access by the tenant. Landlords and tenants need to work out what will suit them both. Any agents contracted to sell the property must stick to those arrangements.
If a property is sold when there is a fixed term tenancy in place, the tenants are entitled to stay on until the end of that term under the same conditions. If, however, they wish to move this is something that should be discussed with the new owners. Any agreement should be put in writing.
If the new owner chooses to continue with a periodic tenancy, then the same terms and conditions of the original tenancy apply. If a bond is held by the Tenancy Services Centre, the rights in the bond are transferred to the new owner, and Tenancy Services must be advised of the change using a Change of Landlord form.
If the property is sold when there is a periodic tenancy in place, and the new owner requires vacant possession, the landlord may give the tenants 42 days’ written notice to leave, rather than the usual 90 days’ written notice required.
Once a property is sold the old landlord must tell the tenants who the new owner is and when they take over. The new owner must let the tenant know their name and contact details, and where the rent is to be paid.
If a property is sold by mortgagee sale and there is an existing tenancy, the existing tenancy is taken over by the mortgagee or the new owner. The rights of the landlord and tenant are the same, except that the mortgagee can only give notice once possession has been taken. A mortgagee sale will also override a fixed term tenancy, with the mortgagee able to give notice as if the tenancy were periodic.