Unsure of landlord's intentions

Question from Jane updated on 1st November 2011:

We suspect we have a dispute under section 47 of the Residential Tenancies Act. Our landlord intended to sell the house before we signed our lease. Is a landlord allowed to plan to sell their house one day (without strictly "putting it on the market" as the act says), sign up a tenant (for a fixed term)the next day then seeks buyers the day after that?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, a landlord is only required to notify tenants (or prospective tenants) if the property is on the market at the time it is being offered as available for letting or if it placed on the market for sale at any time during the tenancy. If the landlord sells the property while a fixed-term tenancy agreement is in place, the tenancy agreement would continue on the same terms and conditions, with the new owner as the landlord. To discuss your situation further, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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