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. Please contact Phillip Leaman or a member of the Property Law Team.

Related Articles

View All
Australia-Israel Legal Advice / Charities & Not-for-Profit / Technology and Start Ups

TLFC – Award Finalist for Law Firm of the Year (Medium Category)

Tisher Liner FC are proud to be nominated as an award finalist in the 14th annual Victorian Legal Awards Medium Law...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes

Case Law Update: Retail Leases – Is your Lease In or Out of the Act?

A recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal case of William Buck (Vic) Pty Ltd v Motta Holdings Pty Ltd (2018)...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes / Developments

Retail Leases – Repair and Maintenance – Know your Rights

Damage to business premises can have a significant impact on a tenant’s business, particularly if the damage results...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes / Property & Development / Developments

Commercial Leases – Protect your Property

By the end of the lease (whether by expiry, abandonment or eviction) things may look different And you may need to...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes / Property & Development / Developments

Update – Residential Tenancies Act Reform

On 8 October 2017 the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews announced an initial set of reforms which the government...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes / Property & Development / Developments

Landlords Beware – Industrial and Warehouse premises can constitute Retail premises

The definition of what constitutes a retail premises has long been a point of contention and uncertainty for landlords...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes / Property & Development / Real Estate Agents

Changes to the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act for Property Owners & Landlords

What is the Commercial Building Disclosure Program The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program requires energy...
Read More
Property & Development / Leasing & Lease Disputes

The Dangers of a New Tenant

From a landlord’s perspective, it is important that a proper due diligence is carried out on the new tenant The...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes

Should Landlords Add a Special Condition into Residential Tenancy Agreements to Prohibit Tenants from ‘Licensing’ Apartments on Airbnb?

In a recent VCAT Residential Tenancies case, a landlord became aware that its tenants had listed their rented apartment...
Read More
Leasing & Lease Disputes

Sub-leasing snapshot

Businesses (tenants) are left with premises they do not want for a variety of reasons: They outgrow the space; They...
Read More
Owners Corporation / Leasing & Lease Disputes / Owners Corporations & Strata

Common Property Leases & Licences – Legal Checklist

In order to validly grant property leases or licences over common property, the Owners Corporation must pass a special...
Read More
Property & Development / Leasing & Lease Disputes / Business Law

Energy Efficiency Disclosure Exemptions from 1 July 2015

Under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth) a prospective purchaser or lessee has the right to...
Read More