One of the drawbacks of being a renter is that you could be asked to move out of your home at some point. While your landlord can’t just arbitrarily kick you out without valid reason, there are some circumstances in which they could be within their right to ask you to leave.
But does this include when they are selling the property that you’re renting?
Let’s go into detail about what can happen if the place you’re renting is sold to a new owner, and how that can affect your tenancy.
What Happens If Your Landlord Sells The Property You Are Renting?
The reason why the landlord is selling the property and how the buyer intends to use the property will determine what happens to you once the property is sold.
Generally speaking, your tenancy will continue while the property is for sale and even after it is sold, as long as the new owner chooses to leave the rental property as is and not move into it themselves. The new owner will then become the new landlord and will have the same rights that the previous landlord did.
Rights And Responsibilities Of A Tenant and Landlord
It’s important for every tenant to understand not only their rights and responsibilities as a renter, but also the rights and responsibilities of landlords:
Tenants should be afforded with a safe and habitable home without interference from their landlord, but they also have their own set of responsibilities to take, including the following:
- Pay rent on time
- Take care of the property and make minor repairs caused by negligence or a willful act
- Not harass the landlord or neighbours
- Allow the landlord entry for repairs or showings when adequate notice is provided
- Inform the landlord immediately when a serious problem arises
Learn more about tenant laws and rights across Canada.
Landlords must ensure the property meets minimum standards for health, safety, maintenance, and housing. Before the property is rented out, it must also meet municipality requirements, such as fire safety regulations, zoning bylaws, and local building codes.
During the tenancy, the landlords must follow certain rules, including the following:
- Maintain the property in good standing
- Ensure adequate supply of electricity, fuel, water, and utilities, unless the tenant agrees to pay for these themselves
- Allow for the reasonable enjoyment of the property without interference
- Not harass the tenant in any way
- Not seize the property for rent default, unless following the appropriate legal process
Provincial Rental Rules Regarding The Sale Of The Property You Are Renting
The rules surrounding what happens to a tenancy when a landlord sells a property may vary slightly from one province to another. Let’s take a look at how each province deals with this situation, including whether or not tenancy continues and if you can be evicted.
When a rental property is being sold in BC, the tenancy continues under the same terms. The landlord cannot terminate a lease simply because they want to sell the property.
Instead, the new owner will take over as the landlord. No new lease is required to be drafted and signed, though this may happen if both parties agree to do so.
If the new owner chooses to move into the property or allow a family member to move in — such as a spouse, children, parents, or in-laws — they must provide written notice to the tenant. The tenant then has 15 days to dispute the notice. Unless the buyer serves adequate notice to the renter to end the tenancy, the tenancy will still continue.
Learn more about tenant rights in British Columbia.
In Alberta, landlords are under no obligation to inform tenants that they are selling the property. In fact, tenants may not even know that the property is sold until they are contacted by the new owner.
Even if the tenancy is fixed for a specific amount of time, the landlord is still allowed to list the property for sale. That said, the tenancy cannot end just because the property is sold. A fixed-term tenancy can only end under the terms as specified in the lease agreement, which means the tenant can remain on the premises until the term ends.
In the case of a periodic or monthly tenancy, the landlord must provide at least 3-months’ notice, as long as all conditions of the property’s sale are met and the buyer requests to have the tenancy terminated.
When a rental property is being sold in Ontario, the landlord must ensure that the tenant’s rights continue to be upheld. Landlords are not permitted to evict tenants if a lease agreement is still in effect.
If the landlord wants to sell the property and evict the tenant in the process, adequate notice must be provided. And in some cases, the landlord must also help relocate the tenant or pay 1 month’s rent.
New owners are not allowed to evict tenants without proper notice. The landlord selling the property must ensure that the buyer honours any part of the lease agreement that extends past the date the property is sold.
In Quebec, tenants are allowed to remain in their rental property as long as they like, provided they uphold their responsibilities as a tenant. Landlords cannot evict tenants when the term of the lease expires, since leases automatically renew in Quebec. The terms of the lease continue even after a change in ownership of the property.
That said, landlords may terminate a lease when it expires under certain circumstances, such as when they choose to move into the property themselves or allow a family member to move in. In this case, the new owner must provide ample notice of repossession to the tenant once the sale is finalized.
When a landlord sells a rental property in Manitoba, the tenant must be provided with ample notice to move if the buyer requests the property to be vacated in order to move into the premises, or plans to have a close family member move in. However, landlords cannot ask tenants to move out just because they plan to sell the place.
Find out how tenant insurance works.
Landlords must provide notice to tenants once a rental property is sold in New Brunswick. The notice — which is called a Form 8- Notice of Transfer — will specify the name of the new owner and the date that the sale will be finalized. The new owner must honour the current terms of tenancy.
If the new owner wants the property vacated, they must provide the tenant with proper written notice of termination. The landlord must also have a valid reason for wanting the tenant to move out — such as the landlord or an immediate family member wanting to move in — using the rental property for something other than a rental unit, or for substantial renovation.
Landlords in Saskatchewan can evict a tenant if the property is sold and the buyer or a close family member wants to move into the property. In this case, the landlord must provide at least one month’s notice in the case of a periodic tenancy agreement. In the case of a fixed-term lease, landlords cannot evict a tenant for this reason.
When a rental property in PEI is sold to a new owner, the existing lease agreement and all its terms must still be honoured. If the landlord wishes to change the rental agreement, the new owner must apply to the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property. Otherwise, tenants cannot be asked to move out just because of a change in ownership.
If the new owner wants to move into the property or have it vacated to allow a close family member to move in, the tenant must be provided with Form 4 – Notice of Termination by Lessor of Rental Agreement that indicates that the buyer wants to occupy the premises.
Tenants who object may file Form 6 – Application by Lessee to Set Aside Notice of Termination within 20 days, after which a hearing will be scheduled.
In Nova Scotia, landlords who sell a rental property must provide the tenant with a Notice to Quit if the new owner or a close family member wants to occupy the property no earlier than 2 months after the tenant receives the notice. In the case of a fixed-term lease, the effective date of the Notice to Quit cannot be any earlier than the end of tenancy date under the lease agreement.
Tenants who receive a Notice to Quit have the option to end the tenancy any time before the date specified in the notice. The tenancy termination date must be a minimum of 10 days after the tenant gives the landlord notice.
Newfoundland and Labrador
When a rental property in Newfoundland and Labrador is sold, the rental agreement will remain in effect. The new owner would then be required to uphold the same terms of the lease.
If the new owner wants the tenant to move out, at least 3 months’ notice would be required for month-to-month tenancies. For fixed-term leases, the new owner must wait until the lease expires before evicting the tenant.
What Happens If You Buy A Property And The Pre-Existing Tenant Doesn’t Want To Leave?
If you’re the buyer in the scenario, you may be wondering what would happen if you want to move into your property but the tenant doesn’t want to move out. In general, when you buy a rental property, you become the new landlord and have the same rights as the previous one. As such, you can evict your tenant due to the following reasons:
- Personal Use – If you have a periodic tenancy agreement, you can evict the tenant if you or one of your family or dependants wants to move in. However, depending on the province you live in, the notice you must provide your tenant will vary.
- Sale Of Property – When purchasing a property, you can ask the current landlord to have the tenant evicted so that you may move in. As the buyer you must get the landlord to provide the tenant with a written notice.
|Personal Use||Selling The Property|
|Ontario||60 days||60 days||Learn More|
|Quebec||1 or 6 months*||1 or 6 months*||Learn More|
|Alberta||3 months||3 months||Learn More|
|Manitoba||Varies||3 months||Learn More|
|British Columbia||2 months||2 months||Learn More|
|Saskatchewan||2 months||1 month||Learn More|
|Nova Scotia||2 months||2 months||Learn More|
|New Brunswick||1 or 3 months||1 or 3||Learn More|
|Prince Edward Island||60 days||60 days||Learn More|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||4 weeks or 3 months*||4 weeks or 3 months*||Learn More|
*depends on the type of periodic tenancy agreement
As you can see from the information above, the rules surrounding the rights of the new owners to evict you are slightly different based on your province. That said, new owners may have legal grounds to have tenants evicted from the premises. As a tenant, make sure the new owner follows the law in your province before you agree to move out.