When you intend to sell your property, give your tenant as much notice as possible
If you put your property for sale on the real estate market, while it is currently providing passive rental income for you, you may be tempted to wait until the last minute to ask your tenant to move out. You may be worried that your tenant will then rush to move out before your home sells, to secure their new living arrangement. And it’s hard to say how long your property will be on the market.
However, not giving early notice is a bad move. We’ll explain why:
You should must notify tenants of open houses, plus inividual home showings, and always respect their privacy
First of all, it will be hard to show your home for sale without the tenant knowing, since you’ll have to enter the property to do so. When you plan to show potential buyers the rental suite that is now for sale, you must give advance notice to the tenant. You have to get their permission to enter outside certain time frames, too. You must also allow the tenant to be home when entering the property, if they wish. And, if they are not home, you will be responsible for ensuring nothing happens to their stuff during these open houses or showings.
Traditionally, a real estate agent asks homeowners not to be present during open houses. This can affect the negotiations, or make potential buyers feel uncomfortable asking questions about the home, for fear of offending the homeowners. Real estate agents may also ask homeowners to stage a home, to make it more attractive to buyers.
However, in B.C., a real estate agent or landlord does not have the right to ask this of tenants renting the property. So, your best option here would be to stay on good terms with your tenant. See if they’d be open to leave the premises willingly, and schedule respectable time frames for open houses.
An experienced real estate agent will also be careful not to disturb the tenant for too many open houses in a row. Firstly, if this drags on, it’s not good for marketing a home anyways (it can make your home seem undesirable if unsold for too long). Secondly, it can put you on bad terms with the tenant, who can then exercise their legal right not to allow for showings except during specified times. This will, in turn, make it harder for you to sell quickly. There’s also the potential for putting you through dispute resolution processes with the Residential Tenancy Branch. These will be a headache, and bad use of your time. If the real estate agent caused this problem to begin with, it will not be their responsibility to solve it – it will be yours.