Landlords selling residential premises – Tenants call the shots.
By Phillip Leaman
27 May 2015
Can a landlord hold open for inspections when selling the property during a lease term without the tenant's consent?
Most landlords and some real estate agents are under the mistaken belief that Section 85 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 allows a landlord to hold an open for inspection if they give the tenant 24 hours notice.
However, there is no such right.
In a recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) case, Higgerson v Ricco it was held that Section 85 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 does not give a right for a landlord to hold open for inspections as it is a breach of the tenants quiet enjoyment.
Section 85 of the Act only allows access for purpose of valuers and prospective buyers. VCAT held that open for inspections are fishing expeditions and may include strangers wanting to view the premises who are not genuine prospective buyers.
What can landlords do?
Landlords need to ensure that their residential leases have a special condition to try and minimise this issue.
If there is no lease term then the tenant could hold the landlord to ransom and make it very difficult for a landlord to carry out a marketing campaign as landlords would only be permitted to hold private inspections for verified prospective buyers only.
Tisher Liner FC Law have experience in advising agents, landlords and tenants of tenancy matters and can assist with reviewing lease terms and dealing with tenancy disputes.
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