Respect the rights of a tenant when buying or selling a house

I want to sell a rental property that I own. What are the responsibilities of a real estate seller who helps me with the sale?

Selling a rental property can be more complex than a typical real estate transaction, and real estate sellers have certain obligations to follow when managing this type of sale.

Since there are now three parties involved in the sale – the seller, the buyer, and the tenant – good communication is essential to help the selling process run smoothly.

As a first step, you and your real estate representative have a responsibility to understand and respect the rights of your tenant, especially when it is necessary to consult them before they are put up for sale or when they wish to reserve a property. visit for potential buyers.

While your tenant is entitled to 24 hours notice for entry, in some circumstances there may be less notice with tenant consent. I recommend that you work with your representative and your tenant to agree on sufficient notice to enter the house. A visitation schedule could even be worked out to give your tenant some certainty.

If your tenant wishes to be present during the visits, your representative must respond to this request and integrate it into the schedule.

There are other rules to follow. For example, neither the representative nor potential buyers can take photos or videos of a property while it is occupied by the tenant, without the permission of the tenant.

You must understand that neither you nor your representative can evict a tenant under false pretenses. An example of this, for example, would be to say that you are moving into the accommodation when you actually intend to rent it out to someone else. If this happens, the buyer, seller, and their representative (s) could be held liable by the former tenant for moving costs and any higher rent paid in their new accommodation.

Such allegations could be investigated by the Ontario Rental Housing Enforcement Unit, and the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (CLL) has the power to impose fines of up to $ 25,000 for individuals and $ 100,000 for corporations.

Ultimately, representatives have a responsibility to follow a code of ethics in Ontario real estate law that requires them to treat everyone involved in a transaction with fairness, honesty and integrity.

And finally, it’s important to remember that some COVID-19 protocols remain in place. These are set by the province and the preferences of the seller and the occupants of the home must be taken into account. Make sure these requests are clearly understood and followed during all screenings.

In-person open houses are now allowed, but you can count on sales professionals to make sure everyone in the home is wearing face masks and meeting physical distancing requirements.

If you have any further questions regarding the sale of your rental property, I encourage you to visit the LTB website at For advice specific to your situation, consult a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant matters.

Joe Richer is Registrar of the Ontario Real Estate Council (RECO) and Contributor to The Star. Follow him on Twitter: @RECOhelp. This column is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice on real estate transactions.

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