Q – Our office practice has always been that if there is a tenant in place and vacant possession of a property is intended, we have a buyers' notice filled out to give to the sellers, who then serve official notice to the tenants to end tenancy.
The seller’s agent seems to be saying that vacant possession is implied, and that we do not need the form. In this case, there was no language in the contract saying that the seller had to give notice and the possession part was left blank with no reference to the tenant in place.
Can you please clarify? We have always gotten the VREB form signed by both parties in such a situation.
A - If the seller signs the offer with:
A) no language in the contract requiring the seller give notice to the tenant; or
B) the possession clause is blank when it comes to existing tenancies,
Then the seller has contractually agreed to provide vacant possession without further notice or action by the buyer.
Thus it is for the benefit of both parties, that the standard clause with respect to tenancy, stating that the buyer will provide a letter and the seller notice to the tenant after conditions are removed, pursuant to section 49, is in a contract where the property is tenanted and the tenant has not already agreed to move out.
So if this clause is not in the contract, the seller may have a legal issue as they have legally agreed to provide possession, but the buyer is not required to provide a letter.
However, it is still in everyone's best interests that the buyer provide that letter, if in fact the buyer is intending to occupy the unit, as otherwise it is not possible to provide legal notice to the tenant. The buyer may want assurances that the seller assumes all responsibility, for any costs arising from providing notice to the tenant.