View Full Version : Property up for sale while rented - legal or not?

05-10-2011, 21:55 PM
Hi, looking for some clarification please.

Have a property which is currently rented and also up for sale. T has given notice so got back in touch with the usual estate agent we use (who it is also up for sale with) and they said it was illegal to have a property up for sale while it was rented. They then went on to say that having it up for sale could put prospective Ts off, which I can understand, but if the estate agent is saying its illegal then that situation wouldn't arise...

Cheers, Stuco

05-10-2011, 21:59 PM
It's not illegal in England/Wales.

You may have difficulty showing the property once it is let because tenants have exclusive possession.

Would you be wanting to sell with vacant possession?

05-10-2011, 22:00 PM
Your agent is talking garbage : Ask them which law would be broken, I'll gladly pay £10 to charity ifvthey can find one.

05-10-2011, 22:09 PM
Not illegal. However, tenant is not obliged to allow any viewings, either by estate agent to measure up and take photos, or prospective buyers, so the fact you have a tenant will put buyers off and inevitably delay any sale.

05-10-2011, 22:15 PM
Thank you. It didn't ring true with me but wanted to check so I can come back at them.
Not so bothered about vacant possession although if we could sell it in the next month during the current Ts notice then that would be ideal, if unlikely.

05-10-2011, 22:19 PM
Without vacant possession will discourage buyers AND almost certainly reduce the valuation. Would you want to buy someone elses tenant-fom-hell?

05-10-2011, 22:42 PM
Also, anyone wishing to buy with a residential mortgage, would be refused if the property was not vacant possession. Tenant in place means BTL mortgage is the only option!

06-10-2011, 11:32 AM
but if the estate agent is saying its illegal then that situation wouldn't arise...

Cheers, Stuco

What does this mean?

07-10-2011, 20:18 PM
Hi, that the estate agent was contradicting themselves. On the one hand they were saying it was illegal (and therefore shouldn't happen) but on the other saying that in that ('illegal') situation it would put prospective buyers off.

07-10-2011, 21:14 PM
What would be the best way to do things. Current T leaves at end of this month. We have a mortgage on the property and need the rent to pay the mortgage therefore need to advertise for a new T but new T impacts on the selling of the property...

Any ideas welcome.

07-10-2011, 21:17 PM
Having a T means you may not be able to show the property to viewers - see posts 2 & 4.

You can't rent the place with exclusive possession and then expect people to allow you to come and go when you want to.

If you could genuinely move into the place until it was sold, you could let some rooms out to lodgers. No need for lengthy eviction for (genuine) lodgers.

07-10-2011, 21:37 PM
Its only a 1 bed (mezzanine) apartment so would be a bit cozy with lodgers:)-:

I realise T is within their rights to not allow viewings so bit of a catch22. We might have to keep going until the mortgage is paid off.

08-10-2011, 02:29 AM
If you can, continue to advertise it for sale and for rent (the agency are talking nonsense, but I think you know that, yes you can have it up for sale and for rent). Then see what happens first. If you receive an offer you accept on the sale you will have to support the mortgage until the sale goes through (in 3 months you can reckon)after your present tenant moves out. If an offer comes up for renting it and you are happy with your new rent amount, take it off the market for sale. It wouldn't be fair on new tenants to have it up for sale the moment they move in (and look at the time of year anyway!) Then towards the end of their tenancy, or after 6 months (say) then you can put it up for sale again if you want to do it at that time. But you may have changed your mind by then or who knows your new tenant may want to buy it from you in which case you get rent right up to the point of completion (watch out for any clauses in your contract with the lettings agent on commission in that eventuality though).

What happened to us is that we sold a flat with tenant still in situ, albeit they had given notice to leave and so were vacating. They left and we were still doing all the legal mumbo jumbo with our buyers, then their mortgage fell through. We put it up for sale again and accepted an offer almost immediately, only for the same thing to happen. By this time it had been empty for about 5 months, so I put it up for sale and/or rent, it rented in a few days and off we went again. 10 years later we still rent it!

08-10-2011, 06:43 AM
Not illegal no and happens a lot.

It is something though that I can find upsetting. T is looking for a long-term let. LL is looking for someone to cover their mortgage whilst they cannot sell it. It's treating Ts like a commodity. We want a home, not to do you a favour from property being repossessed as it's no longer appropriate to your personal needs but won't sell for what you need. I say all this from the prospective of someone being lied to by a police officer LL (was told long-term).

But, whilst I say all that there is a more moral way of doing it. Be truthful, there will be Ts out there that will only want a property 6 or 12 months. Drop the rent to reflect the need for property to be in a nice viewable condition and set days/times for viewings that are reasonable. You could agree that if T moves out at expiry of S21 then they get £100 bonus.

I'm just saying there are ways to treat ppl.

08-10-2011, 09:04 AM
My flat is on the market for sale. I was aware that it may take months / years to sell in this climate so I vetted lots of potential tenants with the selling point of: you can rent my flat for £80 less a month if you agree to any viewings to take place. I also advertised for "Monday to Friday" tenants who work in the town and either commute or stay in hotels during the week, and go home on a weekend, allowing any viewings to take place on weekends.
I might be losing £80 a month, but at least the place is not sitting empty while it's on the market.
Of course, this does need a certain amount of trust in the tenant!

08-10-2011, 21:24 PM
Thanks for the comments. The property was up for sale when the current T took up the tenancy and there was mention of him thinking about buying but his work situation didn't allow for the mortgage. The reason we kept it on the market was that we put it up for sale before the HIPS thing came in and as long as it was continually advertised we wouldn't have to pay for one. Now that its been abolished it won't matter if we take it off the market for a while I suppose as well as explaining to prospective Ts that it might go up for sale at 6-12 months down the line.

08-10-2011, 23:26 PM
So OPs property has been up for sale since before HIPS.
It is poss that prop may be bought by investment LL, willing to have a sitting T providing rent from D1.
Current T was aware property was for sale before accepting T.

Given the problems with motgages, chains and offers being withdrawn, renting pro temp is a route many houseowners are currently having to consider, to protect their mortgage, and most of these could be renting elsewhere if they want to keep their job. Hardly money-grabbing LLs.

Personally I would not reduce the rent as suggested, that would take a well-crafted AST and T could always renage and rent could not be increased without due process.
Better to offer a cash incentive of say £25 each time a T allows a viewing, with notice, at a mutually convenient time with property in a presentable state ie clean & tidy. A returnable deposit could be asked of prosp buyers, returnable if they view & make an offer.
Just a thought.

09-10-2011, 21:40 PM
Better to offer a cash incentive of say £25 each time a T allows a viewing, with notice, at a mutually convenient time with property in a presentable state ie clean & tidy. A returnable deposit could be asked of prosp buyers, returnable if they view & make an offer

Could be the way to go if future Ts are willing. Thanks.

28-03-2012, 17:38 PM
Hi All,

I am a T, and have a tenancy agreement which states that:

"To permit the Landlord or his agent at reasonable hours in the daytime to enter the Premises during the last two months of the term with prospective Tenants and at any time with the prospective purchasers of the Landlords interest in the Premises"

My question: Do I have to permit entry to an estate agent in to the premises to measure up and take photographs for the purposes of selling the property?

Thanks in advance

28-03-2012, 19:07 PM
No, you don't. If he wishes to force you to accept entry then he can go to court (takes months, he may not get order..). Suggest you try & NEGOTIATE something that suits everyone (eg only viewings ever Wednesday 19:30-20:00 or whatever suits you...) or simply refuse any access and expect no/terrible reference...


28-03-2012, 19:20 PM
It should be a criminal offence for estate agents to misstate the law.

28-03-2012, 20:16 PM
It should be a criminal offence for estate agents to misstate the law.I am surprised that it isn't some sort of misrepresentation offence.

29-03-2012, 11:34 AM
It should be a criminal offence for estate agents to misstate the law.

If you said police, then i'd agree.

30-03-2012, 13:40 PM
I have known that to happen.....