What are my options with sitting tenants?
YOU CAN SELL your rental property with sitting tenants. However, it’s important to remember that your tenants have certain rights. If you want to sell your rental property, you have two options available – sell with vacant possession or sell with the tenants in situ.
However, selling a rental property with tenants in situ affords a number of benefits for the seller, buyer and the sitting tenant. New buyers will not need to go through the time-consuming process of referencing potential tenants and can forgo the costs of preparing a property for rent, too.
HOW DO YOU SELL YOUR PROPERTY IF YOU HAVE SITTING TENANTS? It may be more complicated to sell your buy-to-let property if it currently has tenants in it; however, it’s still possible. If you want to sell the property, you are not entitled to evict the tenants.
You can only sell the property with sitting tenants or you will need to give the tenants notice to end the tenancy. You can do this using section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which requires at least two months’ notice in writing, or section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.
Section 8 gives reasons for wanting possession such as:
- You want to move back into the property yourself
- Your tenants have used the property for illegal reasons
- The tenants are behind on payments
- There is a ‘break clause’ in your contract It is important that you seek professional legal advice before trying to give notice to tenants to remove them from the property.
HOW SHOULD YOU CONDUCT VIEWINGS WHEN THE TENANTS STILL LIVE IN THE PROPERTY? You do not automatically have the right to show potential new tenants or buyers around the property. You are only to do this if it is agreed in the tenancy agreement and you give the existing tenants at least 24 hours’ notice in writing. If you do not have this, you will need to ask the tenants for permission.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PURCHASER BECOMES THE NEW LANDLORD OF THE TENANTS? This means the tenants continue to live in the property. You sell the property to the buyer and transfer the tenancy agreement and deposit. Otherwise, everything else remains the same.
The tenancy agreement is still valid, but the landlord’s name will need to be changed. In these cases it is useful to get the new tenancy agreement agreed and signed as soon as possible.
At times, the tenant may decide to refuse to sign anything. They have the right to do this and, in this situation, the new landlord should communicate in writing with the tenants telling them the change of landlord and give them the new payment details for the rent
LOOKING TO EXPLORE YOUR FINANCING OR REFINANCING BUY-TO-LET OPTIONS? The buy-to-let mortgage market is constantly evolving. We’re here to help you explore your financing or refinancing buy-to-let options. For more information, contact The Official Mortgage Company – telephone 01777 809700 – email email@example.com.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.