The home I rent is for sale. What are my best options?

June 24, 2014

If the home rental you occupy suddenly shows an option to buy, it can mean good news or bad. Here are some options for reaching the best possible outcome.

The home I rent is for sale. What are my best options?

Most landlords will give tenants advanced notice when they're planning to sell a rental home or apartment complex.

  • When this happens, you have a few options for what you can do, such as moving out or buying the property yourself. However, there are a few creative options as well.

Consult your lease

Your lease should include terms explaining exactly how you are protected if your landlord decides to sell. Just like you need to give your landlord notice before you move out, they typically have to give you notice before terminating the lease.

  • Take a look at the terms of your lease and educate yourself about your rights as a tenant.
  • If you're confused by the legal jargon, consider seeking out legal assistance. There are lawyers and non-profit organizations that specialize in landlord-tenant law. They can help you protect your tenant rights and make the transition easier.
  • Once you've taken the time to learn about your rights as a tenant, you need to plan your next steps.

Staying or moving to a new home


If you live in an apartment complex, it's likely that you will be able to stay even after the property is sold. Apartments often change owners and the only difference is the recipient's name on the rent cheque.


If you live in a rental home or apartment that will not be available after the sale, one of the easiest options is to simply move to a new home.

  • Take whatever notice time you have according to your lease and start looking for a new home.
  • Most lease agreements require the landlord to give you a 30-day notice or more.

Make your landlord an offer

If you've been saving up to buy your own home, now may be the time to make your landlord an offer.

  • This is much easier if the place you're renting is a single-family home.

However, purchase of multi-tenant housing can also be negotiated, particularly if you can get other tenants to partner up for the deal.

  • It's rare, but an apartment complex can be purchased by the tenants if everyone pools their money and organizes around the goal.
  • This tactic allows you to take control of the property and avoid eviction if you will be unable to continue living there after the sale.
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