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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
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Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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When a house is being sold and is currently tenanted what is

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When a house is being sold and is currently tenanted what is the tenant required to comply with, in terms of providing access to the property for building inspection and final inspection. Is there a standard set of conditions??
I understand it is a burdon on the tentant to prepare the house for inspection, are they under any duty to do so? if so can they restrict the durations for inspection? or dictate what can and can not be conducted during a final inspection?
Ultimately if the tenant restricts access and delays settlement due to the final inspection being incomplete, are they liable for their actions on restricting access or does it fall with the Seller.
A standard lease agreement would normally include terms setting out the tenants obligations to make the property available for inspection for either sale or reletting purposes. In such cases the tenant must provide access in accordance with the lease and if they don't you can sue them for any losses which foreseeably result, such as delays in or the loss of a property sale or lease.

However, absent a written lease (most states legally require a written lease, though sometimes none is ever entered into) the landlord's entitlement will depend on whether there is any statutory requirement for the tenant to make the property available. Each state and territory has different laws in that regard, but if you contact your state's department of consumer affairs, department of fair trading, or equivalent, they should be able to advise you. If there is no written contract which deals with the access obligations of the tenant, and no statutory provision then the landlord may have to to try to induce the tenants cooperation (through financial incentives for example, reduced rent, etc) or simply wait the end of the lease period.

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