NSW Vacant Possession and Notice to Tenants

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9 March 2015
Hi All,
I purchased a property recently at an auction. There are tenants living in the current property but the contract was for vacant possession.

1.5 weeks after the purchase, the real estate agents (who also manage the rental property) offers his services. I said I was open to hear his fees and what his views on the market rents but didn't confirm whether i wanted to rent to the current tenants or not as I was considering my options.

I have since decided to use the property instead for myself / family with the settlement 3 weeks away. However, the agent is saying that because i started talking to him about renting options, I now need to give the tenants 30 days from now - this would mean I won't have the property vacated by settlement date.

I want to know what my rights are. I do recognise the right notice needs to be served to the tenants. Given the tenants were on an expired lease or periodic agreement, the notice is 30 days in NSW. However, I believe that because the property is to be sold in vacant possession, the 30 day notice should have been served by the vendor (or the agent) regardless of what my decision is to do with the property. It is then up to me to appoint an agent (doesn’t need to be Ray White) to help me discuss a new contract with tenants should I want to lease it.

Please let me know of any thoughts you have and if you can help?

Anybody there that can help?


In any event, and no matter who the failure to give notice falls on, the tenants will need 30 days. Tenants have rights and if you don't comply they will take you to the tribunal. The fact that either you or this real estate agent or the former owner did not issue notice to the tenants in order for the property to have vacant possession by settlement date is not their fault and they are entitled to have the full 30 days notice. As I understand it, you hadn't decided until a week into that 30 day period whether you wanted those tenants in or out anyway. It sounds as though the real estate would have otherwise issued notice but you started talking about keeping the tenants on in the property, and of course not wanting to kick them out unnecessarily the real estate agent understandably held off until further notice.

All you can do now is issue the notice as quickly as possible. Will a week or so really make that much difference?