Hi, I bought a house and had to move in three days after the date agreed to in the sale documents. Now I’m being charged occupational rent for the three days. Is this fair? – Jan
Hi Jan, occupation refers to the date that the purchaser is placed in a position to take control of the property purchased. It does not refer to the date of actually moving into the property. Thus if the contract stipulates that occupation is on 1 July and the purchaser moves in on 3 July occupational rent will be charged from 1 July. On the occupation date the purchaser becomes an occupant and not a tenant as defined under the Rental Housing Act. The agent must guide the parties in coming to an agreement which protects both sides and doesn’t expose the seller to unnecessary risk. It is important to always agree on the specifics of the occupation date and the occupational rent when signing the contract and never to leave it to be decided at a later date. When the circumstances change, it can always be amended by way of an addendum drafted by the conveyancer.