Can I amend my tenants contract as the new landlord?

Sanit asks:
(updated on Friday, May 13th 2011)

I have recently bought a property. Initially in the Sale & Purchase I put the tenant's details along with the rent amount. After settlement, can I draw up a new tenancy agreement and increase the rent?

Our Experts Answer:

If the sale and purchase agreement included the tenant details you have agreed to take the existing tenant under their existing tenancy agreement.  If you want to negotiate a new tenancy agreement you are free to do so, and the tenant is equally free NOT to sign a new agreement. 

In this event your rights to terminate the tenancy agreement are the same as if you had always been their landlord:  a fixed term agreement cannot be terminated by one party giving notice, and a periodic tenancy requires 90 days’ notice from the landlord.  

Similarly, a rent increase must conform with the law:  the landlord must give at least 60 days’ notice of an increase, and there must be at least 180 days between rent increases.

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