About Tenant Vacating for Buyer’s “Personal Use”

Owner or Buyer Wants Tenant to Vacate

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord can give a tenant notice to vacate because:

  • The landlord or his/her immediate family wants to move into the unit or home;
  • The buyer wants the unit or home for “personal use.

Buyer Wants Vacant Possession On Closing

When selling rental property, we have, on various occasions, been presented with buyers’ offers stating they want the seller to provide vacant possession on closing. They further state that the seller agrees to give a tenant the legally required notice to vacate for the buyer’s “personal use”.

Is “Personal Use” Misunderstood or...?

This term “personal use” is either misunderstood or misinterpreted, whether intentionally or not, by buyers and sometimes their sales representatives to suit the buyer’s purposes.  When we ask if the buyer intends to live in the unit, the answer we often get is a vague “no, they just want it for personal use,” or “no, they want to renovate.” We also get this statement: “It’s not a problem; we do this all the time with buyers.”

 Because of increasing abuse, last April’s Fair Housing Act moved to tighten this “personal use” provision.

The Residential Tenancies Act now states the following:

“Notice, purchaser personally requires unit

“49 (1) A landlord of a residential complex that contains no more than three residential units who has entered into an agreement of purchase and sale of the residential complex may, on behalf of the purchaser, give the tenant of a unit in the residential complex a notice terminating the tenancy, if the purchaser in good faith requires possession of the residential complex or the unit for the purpose of residential occupation by, (a) the purchaser; (b) the purchaser’s spouse; (c) a child or parent of the purchaser or the purchaser’s spouse; or (d) a person who provides or will provide care services to the purchaser...etc.”

In addition, N12 is the requisite form for notice to end a tenancy for this purpose. Here the seller must give one of the enacted reasons for a tenant to vacate. It states:

“I have signed an Agreement of Purchase and Sale of the rental unit and the following person intends to move into the rental unit: The purchaser, The purchaser’s child...etc.”
Clearly the buyer or an immediate relative must move into the property.

The Requirement of Good Faith

The buyer has to have a “real intention to live in the rental unit. The Act, with the application to the Rental Board requires a sworn affidavit by the person who needs the unit to live in.

Compensation: The Landlord is now required to compensate the tenant if asked to vacate under this rule with one month’s rent or another unit acceptable to the tenant. More stringent penalties can apply within 12 months of the tenant vacating.

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