The real estate market in Australia is very vibrant, and savvy investors are always on the lookout for good properties they can buy. If you are a tenant and you are told that the owner is planning to sell the property, in addition to a lot of uncertainties, you may fear the worst.

If this ever happens, you mustn't panic. The fact that your landlord is putting the house on the market doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to start looking for a new home… at least not in the short term.


You must remain calm under such situations. To be able to plan your next move, you must have a solid understanding of the owner’s rights as well as your right as a tenant.


What Are the Owners Rights?

As the owner, your landlord is within their rights to sell the property. They can sell their property any time, even if it’s during your fixed lease agreement. However, before they can put it up for sale, the landlord must provide you as the tenant with a written notice stating their intention to sell. Also, before showing a property, landlords are to notify the tenants no less than 24 hours before, depending on the state the property is located.


When the landlord has provided sufficient notice, they can enter the property for a showing regardless of whether the tenant agrees or not. And they can do this irrespective of whether a tenant is present or not.


Your Rights as a Tenant

Because owners can very well sell their property any time they see fit, it is very common to see them selling a property in the middle of a fixed-term agreement. You may be wondering what then becomes of the agreement. Thankfully, there are laws in place that protect tenants from the potential problems that could arise.


Your lease is still VALID after a sale

In Australia, your lease is still valid even when a property is up for sale. Hence, your current lease also remains valid even after the sale. Essentially, since you have a contract, you don't have to leave your rental if it changes owners. Landlords are not allowed to unilaterally terminate fixed-term agreements to sell a property. If the property was actually sold to an investor who wants to keep it as a rental, you won't experience any drastic changes.


On the other hand, a property going through a sale can result in your lease being terminated if you mutually consent to it. Hence, if you are on a fixed-term contract but want out because the property is being sold, you can end your tenancy agreement early by reaching an understanding with your landlord.


If the new owners want you out of the property, they will have to abide by the terms and conditions of your existing lease agreement.


Your landlord must notify you before they inspect

The landlord must notify you before showing the property. The acceptable notice period is usually 14 days. As a tenant, you are expected to make every effort to agree on a suitable time and date for the showing. You also have the right to be there when the property is opened for showing.


You are obliged to keep the home in reasonable condition

During the selling process, you are obliged to maintain the property in a reasonable condition but don’t need to go overboard or do anything special to make the sale happen. In essence, it’s not your job to beautify the entrance to the property with flowers.


Where to go From Here?

You do have rights as a tenant in the event of a sale and you must familiarise yourself with them. Depending on the state you reside in, you can follow this guide to avail yourself of the rights you possess.


If you suspect or were notified that your home is going on the market, the best thing to do is to schedule a time to sit down with your landlord and discuss the situation. The best outcome for all parties concerned is to come to a mutual agreement.