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Selling a Tenanted Property

 

When a landlord plans to sell a rental property, the tenancy continues. The landlord cannot end a tenancy because they want to sell a rental unit.

 

Showing the Property

The tenant has a legal right to peace and quiet while the tenancy continues. The landlord or their agent must provide written notice to the tenant or have their permission to enter and show the unit to prospective buyers or to conduct an open house.

The notice must provide the:

  • Reason for entering the rental unit
  • Date and time of entry – which  must be between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless the tenant agrees to another time

Ideally, a tenant and landlord can agree in writing on a schedule for viewing times. If not, the landlord must give the tenant 24 hours written notice of each showing of the unit (these showings may be on the same day or on a reasonable number of other days).

When the landlord has given proper notice, they can show the rental unit even if the tenant isn’t home. A landlord can enter common areas of the property at any time without giving the tenant notice.

During showings of the rental unit, the landlord or the landlord’s agent is required to ensure the safety of the tenant’s possessions.  An arbitrator may find that the holding of an open house by the landlord's realtor is not a reasonable purpose if the landlord cannot ensure the safety of the tenant's possessions.

A tenant may refuse entry that’s unreasonable or unlawful.

Unreasonable entry could be all-day showings every Saturday for several weeks.  Unlawful entry could be where the landlord or the landlord’s agent has not provided proper notice of entry as set out above.

A tenant who believes the landlord has sought unreasonable or unlawful entry may make an Application for Dispute Resolution seeking to suspend or set conditions on the landlord’s right to enter the rental unit.  The Residential Tenancy Branch will schedule this application as an expedited hearing.

Landlords who believe a tenant has unreasonably refused access to show the rental unit can take steps to resolve the problem.

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