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Don't take legal advice from RE agents

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Here is a reminder not to allow the property professional you work stray out of his lane: 

An APIA member recently bought a property with a tenant in situ. She did not require vacant possession and was quite prepared to keep the existing tenant on the property. Like most reasonable buyers, this member asked for a copy of the tenancy agreement, rent and management records. Neither the agent nor the vendor could locate any of these documents. The agent, in what we assume to be an attempt to push the deal through, wrote on the sale and purchase agreement the tenant’s name and, next to it, “new tenancy agreement upon settlement”. The agreement is now unconditional.

The buyer now finds herself with an unenforceable clause. 

Tenancy agreements run with the land, not the owner. The new owner and the tenant are both bound by the existing tenancy agreement. Signing a new agreement now could put the APIA member in breach of termination rules, disadvantage her as to her right to increase rent, inspect etc. This is an instance where a real estate agent had given legal advice to a buyer when he is not qualified to do so. 

We recommend all buyers to involve their solicitors throughout the purchasing process include having agreements fully reviewed before signing.

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