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bubble
02-12-2011, 13:34 PM
So I know someone who is in a bit of a dilemma. They bought a house in the summer but just before completion the old owner issued tenants with a 12 month tenancy agreement in August. The new owners wanted to do works on the house and have given notice for two tenants to leave but one is being difficult and is saying they have until the contract ends (august) to stay within the property. Just wanted some advice to this as currently as it stands there is no contract between this tenant and the landlord but just the old contract between the old landlord and the tenant that expires next summer.
Can anyone give some advice as to what the new owner should do and steps to take and how strong legally this old contract is?

Many thanks

jjlandlord
02-12-2011, 13:52 PM
The tenancy agreement was transferred to the new owner when the sale occurred: The contract very much binds the new owner and he cannot force the tenants to leave before the end of the fixed term.

LesleyAnne
02-12-2011, 14:02 PM
The perils of buying a property with tenants in situ, which is why the advice here is never to buy without vacant possession.

Above reply is correct, the tenancy transfers as part of the sale, and is binding on the new owner - who automatically becomes the LL, and the tenants. The only way they could possibly end the tenancy early would be to negotiate a financial settlement to get the tenants to leave - pay their moving costs, credit checking/admin fees etc for a new property. Maybe your friend could suggest this, but tenant has no obligation to accept. Even when the tenancy ends, the tenants may not move out without the new LL (your friend) having to issue them notice, then gain a court possession order to evict them. They are legally within their rights to stay put until this goes through the courts and bailiffs are sent to their door.

Of more concern however, is how your friend plans to ensure they are up to speed with all the requirements of becoming a LL. Do they have a mortgage? Was the mortgage company made aware that tenants were living there at the time - if not, their mortgage is void. Then there is the deposit the tenants paid - has this been transferred to your friend and have the re-protected it in a govenment scheme and given the tenants the information to confirm this? What about rent - are they declaring this for tax? Is their insurance on a LL policy? Are they prepared to maintain and repair the property correctly whilst the tenants are still there?

There is a lot more to worry about than getting the tenants out, and I think your friend would be well advised to read up on all the legal obligations of becoming a LL pretty quickly!