Can I evict my tenant to sell my property?
We commonly receive calls from landlords asking if they can evict a tenant because they want to list the property for sale.
The quick answer is No, it’s not that simple.
But if you know what you’re doing, YES.
Just because you want to sell it does not give you a legal reason to evict a tenant.
Evicting a tenant to sell your property is a business decision and should be approached as such.
There are ways to evict a tenant to sell, however you need to be willing to do what is required to make sure you don’t expose yourself to possible civil liability that could result in damages being awarded to your tenant.
There are landlords who feel they should evict a tenant so they can list their property vacant. Sometimes there may be good reasons for that such as making needed repairs in order to get higher value on the sale.
Some landlords feel that even when the property is in good repair they should sell it vacant to show better, or that buyers prefer a vacant property, or to try to reduce future complications.
Do you need a vacant property to ensure top resale value? Not necessarily. If you sell a property with a good paying tenant you could actually attract investment buyers.
If you do need to evict a tenant in order to list the property then you need to ensure you do it legally to protect yourself from future legal consequences.
That said, if you have sold your property with a tenant, and the buyer wants vacant possession upon closing the sale, ensure your Agreement of Purchase and Sale (‘APS’), has been drafted properly with the precise wording required in the conditions of your Schedule A.
It is likely unwise to solely base your decisions and process of termination based on what your real estate agent says alone as they have no mandatory training for landlord and tenant law included in their licensing process.
If your APS is not drafted properly, you may not be able to terminate your tenant to meet the conditions and could open yourself up to civil liability to the buyer upon your inability to close the deal.
You may be aware that giving the tenant an N12 Notice of Termination for Owner’s Use is required to start the eviction process, but without the proper foundation within your APS you may not be able to obtain a termination Order from the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Knowing the method and timing of serving the N12, as well as when you can file your L2 Application for Termination with the Board is key to succeeding in your goals.
Ensure you maximize you ability to achieve termination of your tenant and protect yourself from possible liability.
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