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    • JulietS
    • By JulietS 18th Oct 16, 8:37 PM
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    JulietS
    Buying a house with a tenant
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:37 PM
    Buying a house with a tenant 18th Oct 16 at 8:37 PM
    My husband and I are in the process of buying a property where the owner is live-in and rents a bedroom with kitchen on the ground floor to a professional couple, who have been at the property for several years and I am led to believe they have a rolling agreement. The tenants don't occupy the whole property and it is a single registered address (eg no flat number or a/b scenario). We need to exchange and complete vacant and quickly. The advice I have read refers to Assured Shorthold Tenancies which I understand have 2 months notice legally - I don't know if a proper agreement is in place or what the notice period is... the first time I asked the sales agent said 1 month, last time they said 2 weeks. My questions are:
    1) Do the tenants have the same rights if they haven't signed an AST?
    2) Am I able to request a copy of the agreement to check myself/pass to my solicitor, so I know what we are likely to encounter?
    3) If the current owner/landlord does not allow the correct notice, can we be held to rights after the property becomes ours?
    4) After notice has been served, If the tenants decide to leave before the deadline (for instance after 2 weeks) are we legally able to exchange contracts on the basis they can't return? (or can they come back?)
    Thanks for any help! Much appreciated
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 18th Oct 16, 8:42 PM
    • 15,613 Posts
    • 11,323 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:42 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:42 PM
    Have you asked your solicitor these questions, and what was their response? They will know a great deal more about the property you are purchasing than we are ever likely to so will be best placed to give you the answers.

    However, my views would be:

    1) Yes
    2) I should think so
    3) Don't understand what you mean.
    4) Probably not unless they formally agree a surrender of the property.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 18th Oct 16, 8:47 PM
    • 8,849 Posts
    • 11,854 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:47 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:47 PM
    They pay rent so a "proper agreement" is in place even if it's not in writing. However, depending on the set up this might not be an AST given the landlord lives in the same building.

    It's not really up to you to sort out though. Your contract will stipulate that the vendor has to give you vacant possession on a certain date. It's down to the vendor to deliver vacant possession. Their solicitor will advise against exchanging if vacant possession cannot be guaranteed upon completion.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 18th Oct 16, 8:51 PM
    • 37,015 Posts
    • 40,940 Thanks
    G_M
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:51 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 8:51 PM
    ......My questions are:
    1) Do the tenants have the same rights if they haven't signed an AST?
    whether they have an AST does not depend on what they signed. Indeed an AST can be verbally agreed.
    What matters is the precise circumstances of the arrangement - this determines whether they are Assured shorthold tenants, or 'Excluded Occupiers' (with limited rights).
    2) Am I able to request a copy of the agreement to check myself/pass to my solicitor, so I know what we are likely to encounter?
    Of course you can request. I would.
    The seller might/might not agree.
    And as explained above, the written agreement may not reflect the actual legal position .
    3) If the current owner/landlord does not allow the correct notice, can we be held to rights after the property becomes ours?
    1) if the correct notice is not given, the occupants may not leave
    2) if you have signed a purchase agreement secifying 'vacant possession' on Completion, and the occupants don't leave, Completion will not take place.
    3) in which case a) you will not pay b) you will not own the property and c) you can claim penalties from the seller for failing to Complete
    4) After notice has been served, If the tenants decide to leave before the deadline (for instance after 2 weeks) are we legally able to exchange contracts on the basis they can't return? (or can they come back?)
    There is a difference between a tenant leaving and a tenancy ending.
    Thanks for any help! Much appreciated
    Originally posted by JulietS
    You need to establish if this is indeed an AST

    * do the occupants have exclusive occupation of their part of the property, or does the owner/landlord have access?
    * do they share any part of the property?
    * do they have a separate front door?
    * does the owner/LL provide any services (cleaning, meals, etc)?
    * do they have their own gas/leccy etc supply?

    Note that if they ARE AST tenants, yes
    * they must be served a S21 Notice
    * the S21 must give them 2 months
    * after 2 months they do not have to leave
    * the LL then has to ask a court to end the tenancy (can take weeks/months)

    Whatever the circumstances, I suggest you ensure the tenants/lodgers /whoever have left, and their contract ended, before you Exchange, and probobly before you spend (waste?) money on survey, legals, mortgage application etc.
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 18th Oct 16, 10:16 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 757 Thanks
    tlc678910
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 10:16 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 10:16 PM
    As the property is the lodgers/tenants home it is only reasonable that they are given a couple of months to move out even if it wasn't required by law.

    If they find somewhere earlier it is probably wise to get them to sign something to say they have surrendered tenancy.

    If you would like them to move more quickly you could tempt them by offering a sweetener such as paying their deposit on the new place (you could pay the new landlord direct to avoid any risk they take the money and don't move out). Don't pressure them though - they should be allowed to move on in their own (but reasonable) time frame.

    Good luck
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 19th Oct 16, 12:37 AM
    • 4,319 Posts
    • 6,011 Thanks
    deannatrois
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 16, 12:37 AM
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 16, 12:37 AM
    Why does this sale have to complete so quickly? If the speed is driven by yourself, you might find this harder than you are thinking. If the speed is demanded by the owners, I'd be wondering why they are trying to rush you.

    If a property is tenanted .., or these people are lodgers (quite possible if the present owner is a live in land lord) will determine how quickly you can have vacant possession.

    It sounds to me that you don't have all the information you require to make a sensible decision as to whether to proceed.., or know enough about how rental properties work to deal with problems right now.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 19th Oct 16, 10:38 AM
    • 11,958 Posts
    • 11,408 Thanks
    Guest101
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 16, 10:38 AM
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 16, 10:38 AM
    My husband and I are in the process of buying a property where the owner is live-in and rents a bedroom with kitchen on the ground floor to a professional couple, who have been at the property for several years and I am led to believe they have a rolling agreement. The tenants don't occupy the whole property and it is a single registered address (eg no flat number or a/b scenario). We need to exchange and complete vacant and quickly. The advice I have read refers to Assured Shorthold Tenancies which I understand have 2 months notice legally - I don't know if a proper agreement is in place or what the notice period is... the first time I asked the sales agent said 1 month, last time they said 2 weeks. My questions are:
    1) Do the tenants have the same rights if they haven't signed an AST? - Yes. They can have an AST without signing a tenancy agreement (fairly obvious really)
    2) Am I able to request a copy of the agreement to check myself/pass to my solicitor, so I know what we are likely to encounter? - You can request. But it's up to the couple if they decide to share this with you. I probably wouldn't.
    3) If the current owner/landlord does not allow the correct notice, can we be held to rights after the property becomes ours? - Ofcourse, but presumably you wont complete without vacant possession.
    4) After notice has been served, If the tenants decide to leave before the deadline (for instance after 2 weeks) are we legally able to exchange contracts on the basis they can't return? (or can they come back?) - It's complicated.
    Thanks for any help! Much appreciated
    Originally posted by JulietS


    For what it's worth, I doubt they are tenants. But if they are, your vendor should be paying them a few grand to leave.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 19th Oct 16, 10:59 AM
    • 8,343 Posts
    • 10,900 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 16, 10:59 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 16, 10:59 AM
    Agree, they probably are not tenants - now. But if you purchased they would become AST tenants:

    Only buy with vacant possession (having checked, personally, day before completion, that the place is empty).
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 19th Oct 16, 11:32 AM
    • 893 Posts
    • 1,117 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 19th Oct 16, 11:32 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Oct 16, 11:32 AM
    How long have they lived there for? I know someone who had a house with a non self contained flat on the top floor that housed a rent act tenant. Are there still any of those left?
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