A tenant cannot control when and if a landlord sells their home in Ontario. Suppose your landlord is selling their house in Ontario. In that case, it’s always preferable if the situation can be handled constructively and cooperatively, with the help of a real estate lawyer in Mississauga. That said, in some examples, conflict is inevitable. A landlord may want to show the property, which can interfere with a tenant’s enjoyment of their property. This is where the Residential Tenancies Act comes into play. Ontario tenant rights when the landlord is selling a house are outlined in this act/statute. While a landlord has a right to sell a tenanted property, the existing tenant also has rights to uphold throughout the process of selling the house.
Tenants’ Rights When Landlord Sells Property in Ontario
Ontario tenant rights when a landlord sells a house or is selling a property are fairly secure and protect the tenant in several ways. First, a landlord cannot forcibly evict a tenant to sell a home. A landlord cannot have showings without providing a 24-hour warning. While a landlord can sell a property during a lease, they must respect the tenant’s rights at all times while doing so.
Can a Landlord Kick You Out In Order to Sell the Property?
How much notice a landlord has to give a tenant to move out in Ontario when the landlord is selling their property varies. If you, the tenant, are in a fixed-term tenancy agreement, such as a 1-year lease, a landlord cannot kick you out or close a purchase until that term is over. The only exception is if the buyer agrees to assume the tenancy.
If a landlord wants their tenant out of a property they wish to sell or if the property is currently for sale; they must negotiate with the tenant to determine a way to do that; however, they cannot forcefully remove a tenant.
As it relates to tenant rights for showings, a landlord must provide 24 hours notice for any showing. A tenant is then responsible for showing the property sometime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Any tenant pets have to be secured. A tenant is allowed to be at the property during a showing, but it is not necessary. A tenant also cannot prevent a landlord from showing a property if they are unable to be present so long as the landlord gives the appropriate warning time.
Should a tenant deny a landlord’s right to show their property, this is a violation of the landlord-tenant agreement. A landlord then has the right to evict the tenant and can even go so far as to sue the tenant for damages relating to delays in selling the property.
Suppose you are on a monthly tenancy, such as what happens in Ontario automatically when a lease term expires. In that case, no agreement is in place to prevent a landlord from evicting you though they do need to provide what is considered sufficient notice. A notice to the tenant of sale of property in Ontario and/or a request to vacate the property can be provided in these circumstances, giving the tenant a minimum of sixty (60) days to leave.
How You Can Benefit from ‘Bad-Faith’ Eviction
A ‘bad faith eviction’ is a term that is used when landlords give a tenant an eviction notice based on qualifying circumstances; however, they do not end up using the rental home as was indicated. An example of this is if a landlord states they are moving into the property only to turn around and sell it to someone else. Although a landlord can sell a house with tenants in it, they cannot wrongfully evict those tenants before the term of their lease is completed.
Sadly, not all landlords in Ontario follow the rules nor respect tenant rights when selling a house or showing the property. Should a tenant encounter a bad faith eviction, they can file a T5 Form with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Share what the situation is, why you believe the landlord is acting out of bad faith, and include evidence supporting your reasoning.
In order to kick out a tenant, a landlord may say a family member’s moving in or that they’re moving in themselves. Though both are valid reasons to provide a sufficient warning to a tenant to move out, if a landlord’s intent is not as they’ve stated, they cannot evict the tenant. This is why it’s recommended to document all conversations with your landlord and keep receipts and proof of rent payments.
Suppose a landlord is found guilty of a bad faith eviction. In that case, they may be fined up to $25,000 and be ordered to pay a portion or all of a tenant’s out-of-pocket moving expenses as well as any other charges assigned by the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.
What Are Tenants Rights During a Pre-Sale Renovation?
In the lead-up to a sale, a landlord may want to do some major repairs or renovations on a property. While understandable, if a building permit’s required for it, they cannot move forward until the rental unit is empty. Assuming a landlord is selling a house before the lease expires, in this case, a landlord can provide 120 days’ notice to their tenant and terminate the tenancy after the said period. The tenant’s right is the right to move back into the unit when the renovation is complete. Tenant rights when a house is for sale, and there’s a renovation, are simply that they cannot be evicted for a renovation. When all rules are followed through, they must remove themselves for the renovation to take place. A tenant may choose to negotiate an end to their lease instead of waiting should the renovation prove to be too much of an issue.
Tenants Should Receive Notice Before Showing the Property
As stipulated, a landlord is allowed to show a property even with a tenant living there. Regarding a tenant’s rights for showings, a tenant must be given a 24-hour warning prior to. A landlord must also schedule all showings between 8 am and 8 pm.
A tenant does not need to vacate the property. They also do not need to be present for the showing. A landlord’s permitted to show the unit even when the tenant is not there so long as they give the appropriate 24-hour notice. Landlords are expected to be reasonable with how often they book showings and how they are scheduled. If the tenant believes a landlord is not being considerate of their scheduling, such as booking multiple late-night house showings, it may be grounds for complaint.
Lastly, please note that a tenant cannot block a showing or interfere with a showing. If they do, it’s a breach of the lease agreement and afterward, a landlord can use this as a reason to terminate the lease and provide notice to the tenant.
Tenants Do Not Have to Prepare the Property for Viewing On Demand
A landlord can expect a basic level of cleanliness from the tenant when it comes time to show a property. However, a tenant does not need to engage with any sort of staging and does not need to go out of their way to prepare a property, either.
The general rule is for the sale process to have a minimal impact on the tenant’s overall enjoyment of the property they are paying to occupy.
In Order to Take Pictures, A Landlord Needs Tenant’s Permission
A landlord is not allowed to take pictures of a property when a tenant is occupying it. This is a major tenant-right when a landlord sells property in Ontario. It is to protect a tenant from having their private belongings posted online or shared publicly without their consent. A tenant, however, may agree to allow a landlord to take pictures. This permission is not implied in any lease agreement.
What Are Your Rights as a Landlord Who Is Selling House in Ontario?
If you are a landlord selling a house, you also have a myriad of rights that you are entitled to, and your tenant must respect those. Should a landlord’s rights be ignored or violated, it can be interpreted as breaking a lease agreement and may provide a pathway to eviction.
Landlord Has the Right to Put Up the Property For Sale Anytime
As a landlord, you can sell your property at any point. You do not need to notify the tenant. That said, it is a landlord’s responsibility that, should there be a lease agreement in place with a specified term, the new buyer agrees to take it on. Any lease agreement is tied to the property, and a property sale does not make this agreement void. A tenant is permitted to finish out their lease as agreed upon. To circumvent this, a landlord is permitted to negotiate with their tenant should the tenant be open to ending the lease. A landlord cannot forcefully evict a tenant before the fixed-term lease is expired. It is worth keeping in mind that while a landlord does not need to notify a tenant that the property’s for sale, it is the polite and reasonable thing to do so. It is always best to maintain good landlord-tenant relations.
Landlord Has the Right to Show the Property Even if a Tenant is Not There
A tenant not being there for a property showing can be an uncomfortable thought for many tenants, but it is a landlord’s right. The tenant is expected to have any pets secured, and the showing does need to occur within reasonable hours. A tenant cannot deny a landlord the right to show a property so long as the proper notice is given, and if the landlord believes a tenant is interfering in the potential sale of their unit, they may file a complaint or even sue in certain cases.
What Happens to Tenants When the Property is Sold?
After a property is sold, we refer back to a tenant’s rights when a landlord sells a property.
If you are on a fixed-term lease, the new owner of the property assumes the landlord’s position and is required to honour your lease agreement. However, if you are on a month-to-month lease and it is no longer fixed-term, this obligation doesn’t exist anymore.
That said, the new owners will become the de facto landlords, and so they must adhere to all landlord-tenant rights from the moment of sale onwards. If a tenant believes their landlord is acting in bad faith or attempting to trick them into eviction, a tenant can refuse to leave when a house is sold in Ontario and file a complaint with the Tenancies Board. This is the only scenario, however, when a tenant refusing to leave is acceptable.
Should a landlord conduct an inspection and discover breaches of the lease agreement – i.e. significant property damage – this could amount to legal action against the tenant. Furthermore, if a landlord is misbehaving, this does mean a tenant can behave in a similar manner. Both parties have to adhere to the clauses and rules of their respective roles.
A landlord cannot evict a tenant purely because a property is sold. However, if there is no fixed-term lease, the purchaser can issue a 60-day notice before being allowed to kick a tenant out. Please note that these are not considered derogatory evictions and do not reflect badly on the tenant in any way.
Tenants and landlords both have rights when the landlord decides to sell a house in Ontario. If you are a tenant and you believe your landlord has not adhered to their responsibilities in the lease agreement and/or is trying to illegally evict you, speak with a lawyer today.