Know your rights, find out how to claim compensation, and only move if you are legally obliged to
It can be incredibly difficult for tenants when a landlord decides to sell their property. The timing is often inconvenient, especially for tenants who are unsure how to finance a move or don’t have time to go house-hunting.
If your landlord is selling the property where you live, you probably have countless worries to contend with. However, the first thing to do is check exactly what your tenancy rights are. Most importantly, can your landlord make you move house?
In this blog post, we’ll break down the complex answer to this question and show you how to deal with this tricky situation.
Can Your Landlord Make You Move House?
Landlords can’t always make tenants move house, but they do have rights that ultimately give them the power if they want to end your tenancy. However, if your landlord is in a position to legally end your tenancy, there are avenues that you can pursue to ensure you receive fair compensation and notice.
It’s important to note that the sale of the property does not necessarily mean the end of your tenancy. Unless your landlord has a buyer or immediate family member* who plans to move in straight away, you have the right to continue your tenancy.
*An immediate family member could be a parent, child, or caregiver.
Occasionally, landlords attempt to evict their tenants when they’re not in a legal position to do so. This happens when they sell the property to a buyer who then fails to move in straight away. In this situation, the tenants are legally entitled to retain their tenancy.
Can Your Landlord Sell Their Property Without Your Knowledge?
Though your landlord may sell their property at any time, they aren’t obliged to inform you of their selling plans. However, if your landlord does move ahead with a sale, they won’t be able to hide the sign outside the property or the visitors who will arrive for inspections. The only way that your landlord could sell the property without you knowing would be through a private (sight unseen) sale.
What Happens If Your Landlord Files a Form N12?
If your landlord has a buyer or family member who wants to move into the property straight away, they will have to file a Form N12. This form requires the landlord to tick one of two reasons for ending your tenancy. Reason one declares that the eviction will take place because the landlord needs the property for their personal use. However, when selling the property to a buyer or family member, the landlord would tick reason two.
Reason two states that:
- The landlord has entered an agreement of the rental property’s purchase and sale.
- The buyer or family member plans to move into the property immediately.
If your landlord files the N12 under reason two, you won’t be entitled to compensation. However, the form does require your landlord to provide sixty days’ notice before terminating your tenancy agreement.
If you receive an N12 notice from your landlord, you might not have to accept eviction as a legal requirement. Ensure that you explore all of your rights. If in doubt, get in touch with a real estate agent for advice.
What Happens If the Buyer Doesn’t Move In Straight Away?
If you don’t think that the buyer is going to move in straight away, you may not have to end your tenancy by the date specified in the N12. Instead, you can wait for a LTB hearing, which your landlord and their buyer will have to apply for.
If you’re not the only tenant, in the case of the sale of a building for example, it’s a good idea to contact everyone who lives in the building to discuss the matter. They’re most likely in the same situation as you. Joining forces with other tenants will strengthen your appeal.
Before you apply for a hearing, you and your landlord will be able to work with a board mediator. The mediator will help you and your landlord to negotiate compensation for you having to move. If you or your landlord refuse mediation or cannot come to an agreement in the presence of the board mediator, the case will proceed to a hearing.
At the hearing, you will need to explain why you believe your landlord has not served your notice in good faith. Your landlord will then have to prove that they did order the eviction in good faith. Alternatively, they may explain how the circumstances have changed since the eviction notice. If your case is deemed a bad-faith eviction, your landlord’s application will be dismissed. In this situation, you would not have to end your tenancy.
Remember to keep all records associated with your tenancy in case you need to attend mediation or a hearing. Make a note of any expenses that you incur as a result of your eviction notice. You should also document all conversations that you have with your landlord.
What Are Bad-Faith Evictions and How Can You Deal With Them?
Most commonly, bad-faith evictions happen when a buyer doesn’t move into a property upon closure of sale. Unfortunately, some buyers use bad-faith evictions to force tenants out of properties and charge higher rental prices to new tenants.
If your landlord has forced you out of a property but the buyer hasn’t moved in, you can file a T5 application to the TLB to apply for eviction compensation. You may also request fines as penalties for the landlord and buyer. You have 12 months from the date you moved out of the property to submit this application.
Getting Advice When Your Landlord Tries to Make You Move House
Not only does Storey Collective offer a wealth of real estate knowledge, but we are also partnered with two legal-advice corporations who have been advising tenants for years: Down & Company and Vantage Law.
With legal experts on hand to smooth out your concerns when your landlord tries to make you move house, you can negotiate with your landlord to secure the best deal possible. Book your free 15-minute consultation with Storey Collective to find out how we can help when your landlord asks you to move.