Buying a flat - current owner has submitted eviction notice to tenant who won't leave

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  • Buying a flat - current owner has submitted eviction notice to tenant who won't leave

    Dear all

    First time poster here. I am in the process of buying a flat in North London, my offer having been accepted in September. The current owner has had a tenant in there, who was served a two month Section 21 notice on 1st November. It is now the 2nd of January and he remains in the property, apparently due to his inability to find suitable replacement accommodation. He is a HB recipient which I imagine makes his search more difficult. The sellers agent tells me that they are doing their best to assist his search, and that an eviction application was submitted to the court this morning.

    It may be that a suitable flat is found for him, but if it ends up being necessary for the current owner to proceed with the eviction process, I'm wondering how long it is likely to take. From what I've read, it is usually 3-6 months. The agent told me this morning they usually get possession in around 8 weeks, and that it's something they have experience in doing.

    Would anyone here be able to advise me based on their own experiences? I'm asking my solicitor whether drawing up a conditional contract would be a good idea, so as to bind the vendor into the sale. I'm willing to wait, as the flat is a good £20k under market value, but my mortgage offer will expire at the end of Feb and I would really really like to avoid having to go through the incredibly arduous application again.

  • #2
    The tenant can only be removed by the landlord with a possession order granted by the Courts. The s21 notice is only notice that the LL wishes to seek possession. It is not a notice to quit.

    The LL could pay the T to leave.
    There is always scope for misinterpretation.

    If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

    Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


    • #3
      In the circumstances outlined, it would be foolish to count on this tenant leaving by the end of February. Court application, hearing, possession order, bailiffs - probably not.


      • #4
        Did you tell your solicitors that there was a tenant in the flat? Landlord should have served the notice immediately your offer was accepted and your solicitors should have insisted on this. If I was your solicitor I would have warned you that there was no gauarantee tennat would go when you wanted so best to consider buying something else.

        As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful (provided it relates to property in England & Wales) but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients.


        • #5
          A conditional contract is certainly the way to prevent the seller from selling to anyone else. You will though need to make sure that the contract provides for the seller to serve the necessary notice and start proceedings at the earliest possible date and proceed with them diligently up to and including employing bailiffs to remove the tenants. Further, the contract should provide for you to have the right to waive the condition. It is important that the contract provides for completion of the contract to be conditional on obtaining vacant possession, not for the contract itself to be conditional on obtaining vacant possession.


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