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    • lew_1987
    • By lew_1987 11th Jul 19, 6:55 PM
    • 18Posts
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    lew_1987
    Tenant asks for extra week, holding up completion
    • #1
    • 11th Jul 19, 6:55 PM
    Tenant asks for extra week, holding up completion 11th Jul 19 at 6:55 PM
    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.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Jul 19, 7:01 PM
    • 48,847 Posts
    • 60,227 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:01 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:01 PM
    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
    • dimbo61
    • By dimbo61 11th Jul 19, 7:03 PM
    • 10,340 Posts
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    dimbo61
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:03 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:03 PM
    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
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 11th Jul 19, 7:04 PM
    • 4,256 Posts
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    Fosterdog
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:04 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:04 PM
    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.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 11th Jul 19, 7:05 PM
    • 6,393 Posts
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    anselld
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:05 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:05 PM
    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_1987
    • By lew_1987 11th Jul 19, 7:20 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    lew_1987
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:20 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:20 PM
    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 Lycra
    • By Lover of Lycra 11th Jul 19, 7:23 PM
    • 273 Posts
    • 950 Thanks
    Lover of Lycra
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:23 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:23 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by lew_1987
    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.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 11th Jul 19, 7:27 PM
    • 13,235 Posts
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    Voyager2002
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:27 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:27 PM
    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_1987
    • By lew_1987 11th Jul 19, 7:29 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    lew_1987
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:29 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 19, 7:29 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    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.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 11th Jul 19, 7:36 PM
    • 4,731 Posts
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    gettingtheresometime
    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.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    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
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 11th Jul 19, 7:47 PM
    • 1,100 Posts
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    diggingdude
    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
    • lew_1987
    • By lew_1987 11th Jul 19, 7:50 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    lew_1987
    Be careful not to !!!! off the tenant when you do an inspection tomorrow. They hold all the power here not you
    Originally posted by diggingdude
    Yes, good advice :-) As we're getting nothing out of the estate agent, we just want to hear her side and get a feel for how likely she is to actually move out. We don't want to confront her!
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 11th Jul 19, 7:50 PM
    • 25,100 Posts
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    lisyloo
    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.
    Originally posted by lew_1987
    Doing exchange and completion on the same days increases the chances of something going wrong that delays completion.

    Leaving a gap of 1-2 weeks means that if there is an issue at exchange then everyone has the opportunity to rearrange removals and time off work if completion needs to be delayed.

    It’s a big risk to exchange with the tenant in situ as she may not leave on time and the process can be long (court dates in my area take 4 months).
    You solicitor should be advising you of that.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 11th Jul 19, 7:52 PM
    • 21,046 Posts
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    molerat
    Tenant out
    Inspection
    Exchange


    In that order. Anything else is risking trouble.
    https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/donate-now/
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Jul 19, 7:53 PM
    • 48,847 Posts
    • 60,227 Thanks
    G_M
    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. ......
    Originally posted by lew_1987
    So how would you plan for this?
    Book a removal van or frends to help?
    Take a day off work?
    have allyour belongings in boxes and ready to go?

    And with absolutely no guarantee that Exchange/Completion will go ahead till around midday on the day itself


    Then you'll be back here accusing the tenants of not doing what you wanted and asking what steps you can now take...........
    Last edited by G_M; 11-07-2019 at 7:56 PM.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 11th Jul 19, 7:55 PM
    • 897 Posts
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    onwards&upwards

    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.
    Originally posted by lew_1987
    Wow, really bad idea.

    Do you think the tenant will put themselves on the street for your benefit? However nice you are they wonít care about your house purchase more than they care about themselves and their own well-being.
    • hb2
    • By hb2 11th Jul 19, 7:56 PM
    • 455 Posts
    • 1,659 Thanks
    hb2
    Yes, good advice :-) As we're getting nothing out of the estate agent, we just want to hear her side and get a feel for how likely she is to actually move out. We don't want to confront her!
    Originally posted by lew_1987
    Maybe ask her whether there is anything you can do to help her relocate (if you are prepared to put your hand into your pocket, that is!).
    • lew_1987
    • By lew_1987 11th Jul 19, 8:07 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    lew_1987
    Tenant out
    Inspection
    Exchange


    In that order. Anything else is risking trouble.
    Originally posted by molerat
    Agree. I should state that even if we do an initial inspection of the property, we will NOT exchange until we have done another, final, inspection.

    So how would you plan for this?
    Book a removal van or frends to help?
    Take a day off work?
    have allyour belongings in boxes and ready to go?

    And with absolutely no guarantee that Exchange/Completion will go ahead till around midday on the day itself


    Then you'll be back here accusing the tenants of not doing what you wanted and asking what steps you can now take...........
    Originally posted by G_M
    Thanks for the assumptions, but I have already stated that there's no chance of us wanting to exchange and complete on the same day.

    Wow, really bad idea.

    Do you think the tenant will put themselves on the street for your benefit? However nice you are they wonít care about your house purchase more than they care about themselves and their own well-being.
    Originally posted by onwards&upwards
    No, not at all. As said earlier, we would like a chance to hear her side and get a feel ourselves on her situation (since we're not getting an explanation from the agent yet). We're not intending to pressure her or argue.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 11th Jul 19, 9:22 PM
    • 897 Posts
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    onwards&upwards
    No, not at all. As said earlier, we would like a chance to hear her side and get a feel ourselves on her situation (since we're not getting an explanation from the agent yet). We're not intending to pressure her or argue.
    Originally posted by lew_1987
    Honestly though, why?

    She has a contract and business relationship with the landlord, not you, donít interfere you can only make things worse not better, unless as a previous poster said you are going to pay her to move out.
    • lookstraightahead
    • By lookstraightahead 11th Jul 19, 10:14 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
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    lookstraightahead
    Why would the tenant speak to you and remember she might not let you in to her home
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