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What if tenants wreck house before completion?
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# 1
cashferret
Old 17-03-2011, 4:09 PM
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Default What if tenants wreck house before completion?

A friend of mine is buying a house that currently has tenants and is aiming to complete on the same day that the completion of the sale of her own flat goes through.

Her solicitor has just worried her by asking what she would do if the tenants do some damage in the flat between her exchanging contracts and completing, so that she'd arrive in the new house having paid for it but finding it trashed. She asked him the same question but couldn't get a straight answer!

There is no particular reason to think that these might be malicious tenants but presumably it's a general question: what if tenants or owners damage a property after you last saw it and you complete the purchase and only then see the damage? What would be your rights? Would you be able to get compensation from the owner? Or anyone?
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# 2
mlz1413
Old 17-03-2011, 4:14 PM
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What if the tenants don't move out?

insist that the property is viewed before completion, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask the vendor to move the tenants out between exchange & completion - which can be a day, a week or a month.
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# 3
gauly
Old 17-03-2011, 4:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlz1413 View Post
What if the tenants don't move out?

insist that the property is viewed before completion, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask the vendor to move the tenants out between exchange & completion - which can be a day, a week or a month.
The tenants should be out before exchange, not after! Otherwise it could be a disaster for the current owner if they refuse to leave and they can't give you vacant possesion. You should be able to check the state of the (empty) property before you exchange.
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# 4
mlz1413
Old 17-03-2011, 4:22 PM
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why would the LL give up the ablility to receive rent before the buyer has committed?

the LL might get the T's out and then the buyer say oh I've changed my mind.
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# 5
Mallotum X
Old 17-03-2011, 4:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlz1413 View Post
why would the LL give up the ablility to receive rent before the buyer has committed?

the LL might get the T's out and then the buyer say oh I've changed my mind.
Because if they dont then they may find it hard to sell....

Depends whether they want many tens of thousands of pounds for the place or worry about a few hundred....
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# 6
gauly
Old 17-03-2011, 5:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlz1413 View Post
why would the LL give up the ablility to receive rent before the buyer has committed?
Because they have to. No competant solicitor will let the seller exchange contracts with the tennants still in the house.

When you exchange contracts you agree to sell the house at completion with vacant possesion. It can take over half a year to remove tennants from the property if they refuse to leave. If the house is not empty when completion is meant to occur it would be extremely expensive for the seller. They may have to cover all their buyers extra costs which could probably include rent, storage fees, lawyers, removal costs, penalties in the contract etc... Far greater than a few weeks rent.
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# 7
Geenie
Old 17-03-2011, 10:37 PM
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Don't ever buy a house with tenants in that have not gone before completion. It is the owners obligation to give the property to you as a buyer in the state you agree to. I would pull out before paying for a house in this situation.

The owner has to clear the way not you. Say to them come back to me when the house is ready. I would pull out until the house is free of tenants and in the state you agreed to pay for. Get legal advice and take a step back to consider what you might be getting into.

Good luck OP.


"Life is difficult. Life is a series of problems. What makes life difficult is that the process of confronting and solving problems is a painful one." M Scott Peck. The Road Less Travelled.
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# 8
diable
Old 17-03-2011, 10:44 PM
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Make sure you have a clause in the contract that the seller is liable for all costs in removing the tenants and to compensate the buyer.
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# 9
jackomdj
Old 17-03-2011, 10:48 PM
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20 year ago when I was young and naive I bought my first house from a family friend. He had tenants in and also he did not live on the area.

I went around the night before completion as they were supposed to have given me the key that afternoon so I could move all the owners furniture into the garage as he was unable to get to the house until several weeks later and they were happily sat eating dinner with nothing packed.

One very worrying night but luckily they did move the next day, but the house was awful, full of cat poo eugh!
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# 10
kkgree1
Old 18-03-2011, 9:51 AM
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We had this situation when we moved into our house in November. The house was tenanted and they moved out late October (about a week before exchange). I tried to view the house before exchange but an issue with the estate agents getting keys meant this didn't happen. We viewed 4 days before completion and found the property in a really good state of repair.

I was so expecting to go in and scrub the place from top to bottom but hats off to the tennants who had cleaned everything and it was so nice to move in and not put rubber gloves on straight away!

Just wanted to add that not all tennants leave properties how you may expect.
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# 11
Mankysteve
Old 18-03-2011, 2:12 PM
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[QUOTE=Geenie;42082044]Don't ever buy a house with tenants in that have not gone before completion. It is the owners obligation to give the property to you as a buyer in the state you agree to. I would pull out before paying for a house in this situation.
/QUOTE]

Unless you buying the property with the intention of renting.
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# 12
G_M
Old 18-03-2011, 2:21 PM
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[QUOTE=Mankysteve;42095782]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geenie View Post
Don't ever buy a house with tenants in that have not gone before completion. It is the owners obligation to give the property to you as a buyer in the state you agree to. I would pull out before paying for a house in this situation.
/QUOTE]

Unless you buying the property with the intention of renting.
Don't ever buy a house with tenants in that have not gone before Exchange of Contracts.

Talking about the obligations/penalties for the seller if the tenants don't move out by Completion is only half the story. The other half is the stress, inconvenience etc of enforcing the penalties and finding somewhere to live in the meantime.

Tenants do not have to move out just because the landlord/seller asks them to. They only have to move when a court orders them to. So there is no guarantee they'll go. Therefor buyers should make sure they go before Exchange.

A seller who wants his rental income right up to the date of Completion is just being unrealistic.
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# 13
cashferret
Old 18-03-2011, 7:04 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the excellent advice - my friend has been following the thread and is very grateful. She's definitely not going to exchange contracts before the tenants are out!
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# 14
cjdavies
Old 18-03-2011, 7:10 PM
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When I bought my house there was a tenant living there and I made it a condition they were out before I signed, and it was easy for me to know as I lived in the same street. I even bought the cooker off the tenant (I checked with the seller first it wasn't theirs) and they left a wardrobe, it was better than mine.

The house was not left in a horrible state, it was clean.

Last edited by cjdavies; 18-03-2011 at 7:12 PM.
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