Selling a House with Tenants

Published on September 11, 2023

Becoming a landlord isn’t a decision taken lightly—it’s a journey that involves dedication and navigating through a web of regulations affecting both you and your tenants. Yet, for many, it’s a journey that reaps rewarding outcomes, regardless of duration.

But what happens when you decide to sell a currently tenanted property? It’s a scenario that adds an extra layer of complexity to the typical home sale. Life’s circumstances can evolve, prompting a landlord to consider a change, perhaps even relocating to a distant place. Whatever the motivation, it’s crucial to keep everyone’s interests in mind and adhere to the rules that govern such transitions.

Let’s explore this journey together.


The Property Seller

As a property owner, you can sell your home whenever you see fit. That stays the same even if you’re renting the property out. However, you cannot kick the tenant out because you’re selling the property. Under the Residential Tenancy Act, the tenancy continues while the unit is shown to prospective buyers. The best practice is to let the tenants know that you’re planning to sell the property as soon as possible. No one likes to be taken off-guard, and since their lives are about to be periodically disrupted, it’s best to let them know immediately. 

When selling the home with tenants, you must give ample notice for showings and open house events. Tenants have the right to peace and quiet for the duration of their tenancy, and having strangers tramping through their home disrupts that peace. A notice must provide the reason for entry and the date and time, which must be between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. unless otherwise discussed with the tenants.

Tenants also have the right to ensure their personal property isn’t at risk of theft or damage. The tenant, or someone representing them, may be present while the unit is being shown, and the landlord cannot require the tenants to leave at that time. 

If your tenants are uncooperative, you also have certain rights. You can speak to them and work out the issue or refer them to the Residential Tenancy Branch for arbitration. If that doesn’t work, you have grounds to give the tenants a one-month notice to evict.


The Property Buyer

Should you be fine with your tenant and the property sells, the new owner becomes the new landlord. They can sign a new contract with the tenants, but it’s not required—the original one carries over. 

If the new owner wants to live in the unit or move their parents, child or spouse into the unit, they can request to end the tenancy in good faith, which must allow the tenants at least two months to vacate. The new landlords can’t evict the current tenants to bring in new ones, but if they plan to demolish, renovate, repair, or convert the property, they give at least four months’ notice.

The new landlord also becomes responsible for any deposits put down by the tenants, such as security or for pets. This means the buyer and the seller must discuss this matter before the deal goes through.

Selling a tenanted property comes with its fair share of rules and regulations. It can seem like a complex process, but don’t worry; we’ve got your back!

If you’re considering selling your tenanted property, we’re here to make the entire journey as smooth as possible. Our experienced team knows the ins and outs of the real estate market, especially when it involves tenanted properties. We understand the importance of making the sale easy not only for you but also for your tenants. Disrupting their lives as little as possible is a priority for us.


So, why not take the first step? Give us a call at 250-860-0303 today, and let’s get started on your journey toward selling your tenanted property. We’ll handle the details so you can focus on what’s next for you.


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