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Renters have rights when home is sold

(iStock file photo)

As homeowners contemplate cashing in on real estate craze, tenants may be feeling vulnerable.

Tenants are being reminded about their rights if their rental switches hands.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With a record number of homes switching hands in the Lower Mainland, people who pay rent to live in someone else’s house or condo may be feeling jittery.

But even if your rental changes ownership, you shouldn’t panic. That’s because as a tenant, you have rights that stay with you, even if you have a new landlord.

If the new homeowner wants to evict you, Andrew Sakamoto of the Tenant Resource Advisory Centre says they can only do so for certain reasons.

“If the owner plans to move into the unit, if they plan to do major renovations or if they plan to demolish,” he explains.

Sakamoto says there are consequences for homeowners who lie in order to evict.

“For example, a month later the tenant goes on Craigslist and sees the unit they just left being advertised, the tenant would be able to go to the Residential Tenancy Branch to seek two months’ rent.”

Sakamoto points out tenants need to be given two months’ notice when being evicted, and one of those months is rent-free.