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Harry
16-03-2006, 13:37 PM
I'm just taking on my first property, which has the benefit of an existing tenant of two years' good standing, who has been give notice and who is to sign a new tenancy agreement with me.
It's let unfurnished, which I expected to mean that I would be responsible for carpets, curtains, a cooker, fitted kitchen and bathroom and provision for heating (in this case central heating).
However, I've just realised that the outgoing landlord is also providing a fridge/freezer, washing machine, tumble drier, two beds and a sofa, all of which the tenant will probably feel a sense of grievance about if I don't continue to provide and maintain.
What exactly should "unfurnished" be reasonably taken to mean?

ddd
16-03-2006, 19:25 PM
You will need to be very careful how you handle this if you purchased the property with a sitting tenant. It will depend upon the type of tenancy agreement but the tenant may be entitled to the terms and conditions of the original contract - it is illegal to draw up a new tenancy agreement with less security and I judge this may extend to less favourable terms including services etc
ddd

Ericthelobster
16-03-2006, 19:42 PM
"Unfurnished" lets are relatively rare - normally it's taken to mean there's not even floor coverings

"Part-furnished" is what you have - carpets and curtains included, maybe some kitchen white goods etc.

Surely the thing to do would be to purchase all the existing furnishings in the property from the current owner. Bit odd, really, that you are acquiring the house, tenant, but not several items of furniture in there. They will be worth peanuts in second-hand value, so I can't imagine the current owner wants them. Is he biding his time waiting for you to offer to buy them?

Being reasonable though, you really can't just go and leave the tenant in the lurch and expect him to go shopping for all that furniture for himself, regardless of any legal obligations you may have (as others have indicated). If I were the tenant I'd be very, very hacked off if that happened to me!

Harry
17-03-2006, 09:42 AM
Thanks for that guidance.

In fact, the present owner has given the tenant notice, which will expire on the day that contracts are exchanged, so that I have vacant possession.

However, I said that I would then offer a new let to the tenant, so it doesn't seem to me that I would be changing the terms of the let.

As I don't want the expense and hassle of maintaining and replacing white goods and furniture, I'm planning to offer them to the tenant for a knockdown sum, if the present owner is keen to part with them.

Sound like a plan?

justaboutsane
17-03-2006, 09:50 AM
Just because the existing LL has given notice to expire on exchange does not mean you will have vacant possesion! If the tenants do not leave the esisting LL would have to go to court to obtain a possesion order. There is no need for the old LL to give notice if you are going to retain them. A few years ago we bought two properties at auction with tenants on AST's on completion we issued new Tenancy agreements to the tenants.

With regards to the furniture you should discuss with the existing LL what he wants to do with it all and he should sell it to the tenants if that is the path he choses to take.