Can I Sell My Tenanted Property?

evicting a tenant to sell in ontario blog

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Many people are trying to sell tenanted properties since interest rates have increased and carrying costs have risen. Suddenly, landlords are paying a lot more out of pocket, and it’s no longer feasible for them to carry the property. In some cases, the mortgage may have gone up in excess of $1000 or more per month, and the tenant’s rent hasn’t changed.

If you’re considering selling a tenanted property, you’re probably wondering how to go about it and what your options are. Today, Adrian and Ariel answer questions about landlord and tenant rights, legal requirements for giving notice, and much more.

Can I Evict My Tenant for Selling

No, you cannot evict a tenant for the sole purpose of listing the property for sale in Ontario. But you can give them the notice to vacate for certain qualifying reasons:

  • You, or the new owner, wants to move in
  • A qualifying family member wants to move in, specifically a child, spouse, or care worker for a qualifying family member

However, you can try and negotiate. Be upfront, explain why you’re selling, and be mindful of the tenant’s situation. Suddenly, they will have to find somewhere else to live, and chances are the rent for a comparable property has gone up. They’ll have to pay the first and last month’s rent and moving expenses, not to mention the inconvenience.

You can make what is known as a “cash for keys” offer. For example, you could offer your tenant the equivalent of two or three months’ rent, instead of, or in addition to, the mandatory one-month of rent that must be paid.

Showing a Property With Tenants

Although you’re entitled to show a property with 24-hour notice, we always approach the tenant in advance and, once advising them of their right to 24-hours notice, we explain that we don’t want to enforce that in case it’s not a convenient time for them, and therefore allow agents to ask for any time, even on shorter notice, and we appreciate the tenant’s consideration and willingness to accommodate short notice appointments when possible.  If a tenant becomes unreasonably uncooperative, enforce the 24-hour notice and don’t ask permission.

Does a Tenant Have to Accommodate Showings During the Selling Process?

If you’re selling your property, you have the right to show it, but you must give your tenant at least 24 hours advance notice of entry. The tenant is allowed to be there during the showing, which should occur between 8 am and 8 pm. Try to work with your tenant and be accommodating when possible. Remember, they’re responsible for the condition of the home during showings.  A strong relationship can go a long way during these times.

Conversely, a good quality tenant, who has taken care of the property and pays their rent on time, can be an asset if you’re selling the property to an investor.

Go to 9:38 to hear Ariel’s suggestion for getting your tenant to vacate the property during showings.

Can I Stage My Rental Property?

Generally, staging a rental isn’t feasible, but it depends on your tenant and the degree of staging involved.

A fluff stage where you add wall hangings, cushions, and fresh flowers might be agreeable. But they’ll unlikely consent to move all their belongings out, so you can do a thorough staging.

Do I Have to Pay My Tenant to Vacate?

If you’re evicting a tenant in Ontario, they’re legally due at least one month’s rent, regardless of the reason.

If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Do your due diligence and do proper vetting to get the right tenant in your property
  • Increase the rent every year by the guidelines

Go to 24:33 to hear a ChatGPT-generated top 10 list of challenges when selling a tenanted property.

If you’re a landlord or a tenant, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act and know your rights.

Inspired? Confused? Comment.

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