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  • FIRST POST
    • skipfeeney
    • By skipfeeney 14th Mar 17, 7:39 PM
    • 56Posts
    • 3Thanks
    skipfeeney
    Buying a house currently occupied by a tenant
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:39 PM
    Buying a house currently occupied by a tenant 14th Mar 17 at 7:39 PM
    Hi,

    I have seen a house I would like to purchase to live in however it is currently rented out and the tenancy agreement runs out at the end of April.

    If I go ahead with a view to complete / exchange on the 1st May what would happen if the tenant refuses to move out? Who's problem would it be?

    Thanks
Page 1
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • 6,885 Posts
    • 3,128 Thanks
    buglawton
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    If any mortgage is involved, your lender will refuse to proceed. Unless it's a buy-to-let mortgage in which case the lender will begin by asking for a copy of the shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) currently held with the seller.

    If you are buying for cash, and can verify an AST is in place then the usual giving notice processes apply (google evict AST). If you are buying for cash and the tenant has superior security than a standard AST, expect not to get them out in any foreseeable future.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 14th Mar 17, 7:52 PM
    • 10,819 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:52 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:52 PM
    Just because the fixed term ends 30th April that doesn't mean the tenant has to move out. Come 1st May the tenant will automatically start a periodic tenancy.

    Has the vendor even served notice to the tenant? The vendor would have to have a screw loose to exchange before the tenants had vacated the property.
    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.
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 14th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 4,135 Thanks
    Penitent
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    When you say their tenancy runs out in April, do you mean the landlord has served notice for them to leave on that date, or do you mean the fixed period of their contact ends then (at which point they'll go onto a rolling contract)? Even if the landlord has served notice, the tenant may still decide to stay for several months while the landlord formally evicts them.

    It's up to you if you're willing to start spending money on surveys, etc. while this process is going on (I'm not sure if I would). I certainly wouldn't be expecting such a quick completion on this kind of property.
    • 3card
    • By 3card 14th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    • 144 Posts
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    3card
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    Can you not make an offer based on the property having vacant possession?

    I rang a local estate agent a couple of weeks ago to view a property for investment but the agent said the present tenant wasnt a 'very good one' and suggested if i were to make an offer it would be on this basis
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 14th Mar 17, 8:00 PM
    • 791 Posts
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    ThePants999
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:00 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:00 PM
    If you're getting a normal mortgage, and buying to occupy, the contract you exchange will specify that the vendor must provide you with "vacant possession", i.e. the house is empty and ready for you to move in. If the vendor signs that contract, they'll be obliged to provide exactly that. If the tenant doesn't move out in time, the vendor cannot complete on the sale until they do. This is legally their problem, and they'd be liable for all costs you incur as a result of their failure to complete. Of course, it's practically your problem, as you may have nowhere to live!

    As Pixie said, the vendor would have to be nuts to exchange this sort of contract before the tenants have left, as they have no way of guaranteeing when a sitting tenant will finally leave. Even if the vendor had already served notice to expire at the end of the fixed term, they may have to wait for a court date for a possession order, they might not successfully get one if they use section 21, and they may have to wait for bailiffs to evict the tenant - could be months. Their solicitor will no doubt tell them that, so you'll find they won't exchange contracts in the timeframe you're looking for.

    If you're buying as a BTL investment, it's no problem and you'll become the tenants' new landlord.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 14th Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    • 2,571 Posts
    • 2,520 Thanks
    cjdavies
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    If I go ahead with a view to complete / exchange on the 1st May what would happen if the tenant refuses to move out? Who's problem would it be?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by skipfeeney
    You are the new landlord

    Serious note: Do not offer any dates until the tenant has left, their term ending 30/04/17 is nothing.
    • skipfeeney
    • By skipfeeney 14th Mar 17, 9:23 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    skipfeeney
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:23 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:23 PM
    Thanks for all the advice.

    I am buying it to live in, so would need the tenant out. I was just told that the tenancy agreement expires at the end of April. So I guess that means they have not yet potentially been served notice.

    I would be buying it with a mortgage. The vacant possession clause sounds good to me - I didn't want a tenant to be my problem and I wouldn't exchange until they have moved out.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 14th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • 41,067 Posts
    • 47,178 Thanks
    G_M
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    I would never Exchange Contracts until

    a) the tenants had left and
    b) I'd visited to check and
    c) I'd confirmed with the seller the tenancy had ended (or the tenants could come back!)

    In fact I would not even waste sorry spend money on survey, searches, mortgage application, conveyacing etc until a) b) c) were all complete.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 14th Mar 17, 9:35 PM
    • 18,413 Posts
    • 14,129 Thanks
    agrinnall
    Forget about completing or even exchanging on 1st May, I reckon you'll be lucky to be in before August unless the tenants have decided to move out at the end of April. Once you engage a solicitor they will tell you the same as you've learned here, and may be able to give you a better idea of how long it would take to get to completion. Personally I'd look for another property.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 14th Mar 17, 11:39 PM
    • 9,510 Posts
    • 11,996 Thanks
    hazyjo
    I've bought a couple of properties that were tenanted. Thankfully all went according to plan and they vacated. As above, definitely make sure they're out, and definitely don't exchange before that date.

    Presuming England and not Scotland, the average time to buy is 3 months. If you start tomorrow, you prob won't complete until mid-June. Obviously some will take a few weeks, some several months. You won't be talking completion dates until way down the line! 1 May would be extremely optimistic (not to mention it's a bank hol so a no-go)!

    Jx
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