Purchasing a Tenanted Property
It is not uncommon for residential property to be sold with a tenant in place. So what happens if you find your dream home and it’s a rental? When can you take vacant possession and move in?
As with nearly everything to do with real estate, the first thing to do is to ask the agent what the situation is.
If the property being sold has a tenant with a fixed-term tenancy (ie: a lease) then you are obliged under law to honour the existing agreement. You can only terminate the tenancy under the terms of the agreement. You should ask to see the terms of the lease before making an offer so that you know exactly where you stand.
If the property is being sold with a tenant on a periodic rental agreement (usually weekly, fortnightly or monthly) then you should be able to purchase the property and give the tenant sixty days’ notice to vacate. These rules are current as at the time of writing (April 2015.) If you have not acted as a landlord before, you would be well advised to take advice as to your rights and responsibilities. Your real estate agent and the Department of Commerce website are good starting points for information.