What happens to the tenant when the property is for sale?

A landlord is not prohibited from selling the property to a third party while the property is housing a tenant and a lease agreement is in place. However, in terms of the legal principle of ‘huur gaat voor koop’, which means a lease agreement goes before the sale or hire takes precedence before purchase.

In certain circumstances, a new property owner is bound by the lease agreement that the previous owner entered into with the tenant. The buyer becomes the new lessor/landlord under the existing lease, and the tenant becomes their lessee. The existing lease provisions remain the same and are binding to both parties. 

However, the tenant may feel a lot of uncertainty around dealing with a different landlord or the lease renewal terms with the new owner. There is also the matter of what the new owner intends to do with the property, as they may not want to continue renting it out and could want to move into it themselves.

In these situations, tenants might want to find other accommodation, and that’s why familiarising yourself with your lease agreement before you sign is important to know where you stand with regards to your rights and obligations should the property be sold. 

In some cases, landlords and tenants may have agreed to a lease with a sales provision to give both parties flexibility should the situation arise. The lease may stipulate that the tenant can cancel their current lease and find another place to stay if the property is on the market. If these are the terms and there is mutual consent, the tenant is absolved from any penalties that may arise due to breaking the agreement.

These terms and conditions in the lease before the property sale will also be carried over to the new landlord/owner. This means that if nothing is specifically stated in the lease regarding the sale of the property, it will be a lot more difficult for the tenant to break the agreement without suffering the consequences of a penalty.

The lease will remain in effect under the new landlord, and the tenant will be obligated by law to respect the stipulated terms, as will the new landlord. 

Before making any decisions regarding terminating a lease prematurely, tenants should first speak to the landlord. Talking to the landlord could help to alleviate concerns regarding the sale of the property. Asking for a meeting with the new landlord could also be a good idea, for the landlord and tenant to establish a relationship and iron out any issues that might be unclear in the current lease and any future events the two   parties need to address.

For enquiries text, call or email #yourhomegirl Justina Hamupembe at  +264812726001 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Last modified on Sunday, 06 November 2022 15:44

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