Forum Home» House Buying, Renting & Selling

Tenant asks for extra week, holding up completion

New Post Advanced Search

Tenant asks for extra week, holding up completion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
36 replies 4K views
lew_1987lew_1987 Forumite
18 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Hi,

We've been in the process of buying our first house, with a tenant living there at the time. She was given her notice more than 2 months ago, and we were due to complete next week (16th). Tomorrow (12th) we were due to do our final inspection and with everything else seeming fine, we transferred all the required funds to the solicitor today, in preparation for exchange (due to happen on the 15th). This afternoon, we heard from our solicitors that the seller's solicitors wanted to change the completion date to the 17th. I asked why and was told that the tenant had been given an extra week at the property... It turned out that she had rang the property managers (at the same agent that is marketing the property) and they had agreed to let her have it, without the vendor or either party's solicitors being informed! This is after she asked the landlord for an extension a couple of weeks ago and was already told "no".

We are beyond furious and aren't sure how to proceed. As mentioned before, we haven't exchanged yet and since the vendor wasn't the one that agreed to the extra week, I'm not sure how accountable she could be for that. As this happened late in the day we've managed to make some calls but our estate agent can't understand why the extra week was given, and neither the agent or our solicitor could tell us how to proceed at that time.

Is there anything you would suggest we can do to get completion back to the 16th and get the tenant out on time? We just want the sale to go through as agreed next week, and obviously want to avoid any serious proceedings. The only thing we can think to do is try to speak to the agent again tomorrow and get an explanation for why this has happened, and then go from there.

I appreciate any advice you can offer! Thanks.
«134

Replies

  • G_MG_M Forumite
    52K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    you have chosen to buy a property where a tenant is in occupation. That is always a risk. It's their home.They have a right to be there.

    "given notice" (I assume by the owner/landlord?) does not end their tenancy and does not require them to leave.

    Only a court can end their tenancy and it could take the landlord 2 - 4 months to evict them via the courts.

    I'm afraid there is nothing you can do except either

    * wait however long it takes or
    * find a vacant or owner-occupied property and start again
    ** If I include a blue link in my post, click and read it before posting a follow-up question. The answer may be in the link! **
  • dimbo61dimbo61 Forumite
    10.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just because the tenant has been served notice does not mean she will leave it could take weeks or months to evict her via the courts.
    Good Luck
  • FosterdogFosterdog Forumite
    4.8K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Only the tenant or a court can end a tenancy so if you try to push too much the tenant could dig their heels in and force the vendor to get them evicted through the court which could take 6 months.

    Do not exchange until the tenant has left the property otherwise you could end up with a whole host of other problems with you either not getting vacant possession or you becoming the new landlord.

    All you can do is wait for the tenant to leave.
  • anselldanselld Forumite
    6.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    The agent is no doubt aware that that the tenant is not obliged to leave until a Court order. They probably figured it was better to agree a week extension amicably rather than risk antagonising the tenant when they have no practical way to deny the request.
  • lew_1987lew_1987 Forumite
    18 posts
    Thanks all, yes we understand now that the tenant can essentially do as she pleases! I think what has rubbed us up the wrong way most is that both sides assumed she was moving out today and this was only flagged when the estate agents checked if they had had the keys dropped off with them! We should have been notified earlier.

    We are going to try to keep our inspection appointment tomorrow and have a chat with the tenant ourselves. We absolutely will not be exchanging until this is sorted.
  • Lover_of_LycraLover_of_Lycra Forumite
    1.7K posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    lew_1987 wrote: »
    Thanks all, yes we understand now that the tenant can essentially do as she pleases! I think what has rubbed us up the wrong way most is that both sides assumed she was moving out today and this was only flagged when the estate agents checked if they had had the keys dropped off with them! We should have been notified earlier.

    We are going to try to keep our inspection appointment tomorrow and have a chat with the tenant ourselves. We absolutely will not be exchanging until this is sorted.

    The tenant can "do as she pleases" because she has a legally binding contract allowing her to live in the property whereas you have nothing since you haven't exchanged contracts yet.
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
    13.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    You wrote (near the end of the OP):
    "We just want the sale to go through as agreed next week, and obviously want to avoid any serious proceedings."

    Since you have not yet exchanged, there is no scope for serious proceedings. The vendor is not obliged to sell, and if they take the property off the market now you have no redress.

    Personally I would not exchange until the property is empty, and I would allow more time between exchange and completion.
  • lew_1987lew_1987 Forumite
    18 posts
    You wrote (near the end of the OP):
    "We just want the sale to go through as agreed next week, and obviously want to avoid any serious proceedings."

    Since you have not yet exchanged, there is no scope for serious proceedings. The vendor is not obliged to sell, and if they take the property off the market now you have no redress.

    Personally I would not exchange until the property is empty, and I would allow more time between exchange and completion.

    Thanks for your reply. Our solicitor has suggested that we should set exchange AND completion for 17th, on the day that the tenant is now supposed to be moving out. No chance! If this is the route we have to go down then we'll be asking for more time.
  • gettingtheresometimegettingtheresometime Forumite
    5.8K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭
    You wrote (near the end of the OP):
    "We just want the sale to go through as agreed next week, and obviously want to avoid any serious proceedings."

    Since you have not yet exchanged, there is no scope for serious proceedings. The vendor is not obliged to sell, and if they take the property off the market now you have no redress.

    Personally I would not exchange until the property is empty, and I would allow more time between exchange and completion.

    And I'd do my inspection after she's left.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card / JD Williams cleared :) thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge
  • diggingdudediggingdude Forumite
    2K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭
    Be careful not to !!!! off the tenant when you do an inspection tomorrow. They hold all the power here not you
    House owner as of 27.3.2019 :j
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support