Flat for sale as soon as I moved in. (tenant)

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    Flat for sale as soon as I moved in. (tenant)

    Ok, I'll try to make this brief. I've also had a look through what I can on the site to understand where I stand.

    I put an offer on a flat about 1 month ago for rental. We negotiated back and forth through the letting agent for some time as the landlord wanted 24 month lease and I wanted 12 months. Finally the agent got on to the phone with his boss who came back and said that 12 months would be fine as the landlords intend "to put it up for sale eventually." (or something along those lines. An unspecific timeframe anyway.)
    As I wanted to move quickly we agreed a move in date of about 1.5 weeks from that agreement. To put it briefly the lettings agents messed about getting forms to me etc. resulting in me not being able to move in on the intended date (a weekend). (All their fault)
    When things were set to go the following week I was frustrated and just wanted to get things moving and so (I know I'm stupid) quickly read through the tenancy agreement and signed.
    Not even 2 weeks after moving in I received an email from the lettings agents asking for access the following day for a sales viewing. I declined. Now a week later I have received another request. I have declined that too.

    I have since gone back to view my tenancy agreement and noticed an additional clause stating that "I must give access for sales viewings and that once sold the landlords can give 2 months notice to vacate at any time during the tenancy." I have also gone on to rightmove and seen that the flat has been listed on their for sale since a few months before I moved in.

    So I guess my question is about my rights here.
    First off no verbal communication or written in email was given that the flat is currently for sale and that I could be asked to vacate the property outside of the 24 month term (incidentally it's still a 24 month lease with a 12 month break clause.) If it had I wouldn't have entered the lease. I clearly want a long term tenancy.
    The landlord has a 2 month break clause but I do not. Is this fair
    Do I still have the rights of "having a peaceful life"
    If they were to tell me tomorrow I have to move out in 2 months do I have any rights to claim back fees, moving expenses etc.
    How often can they do this? So far the requests are coming once a week.
    If a buyer does take it on and doesn't want to be a landlord, can they ask me to vacate with the same timeframe.

    Finally, just to vent my anger at this. I find this not only dishonest and deceitful of the lettings agent but also of the landlords as well. As I stated had I known this I would not have entered into the lease. I understand circumstances change and flats/properties may need to be sold but putting a tenant into your flat knowing the flat is for sale is different and should have been made clear. It is now causing me unwanted stress in a flat I want to enjoy. I feel like they have no respect for me and are simply using me to keep the money rolling in whilst they sell it. I own my own property and I'm considering renting it out and I would hope that I would give my tenants the respect that I would expect.

    Thank you all in advance.


    #2
    Selling the place does not end tenancy nor require you to leave. Even if new owner is outside with nowhere to sleep.

    Do nothing. No requirement to allow viewings or surveys or valuations. Simply tell them to go away.

    New owner becomes new landlord. No need for new tenancy.

    Sleep easy in your be. You are in charge of what happens
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      #3
      Make a complaint to Trading Standards against the estate agents.

      Comment


        #4
        Don't complain to Trading standards, if you are grieved complain to the branch manager, if you get no resolution you can then complain to their redress scheme (find out which redress scheme they are a member of), there is a process that all LA have to follow, use it.

        Remember the LL, may have the intention of selling that doesn't automatically mean you will be homeless, the LL could be selling to an investor who would prefer a rental income without void period once purchased. You also mentioned that the property was on sale for sale for a couple of months prior, there is no reason to assume it will sell quickly, also the LL may be testing the water on the sales price, at the moment the LL is receiving an income from you. One final point, you can always negotiate, you are in a better position if the LL has a seller, but a T who wont leave, therefore they may offer you the fees etc back to get you out - don't stop the channels of communications.





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          #5
          The terms of the agreement are not changed by a sale, so whatever rights you have, you will have even if the sale goes through.

          Your tenancy gives you exclusive rights to the property, so you can exclude anyone you wish.
          If the tenancy agreement gives consent for viewings, by declining them you are in breach of contract and the landlord could try and sue you for any loss arising from that breach or try and repossess on the basis of that breach of the tenancy terms.
          Any attempt to repossess is likely to fail, and the most likely scenario is that the court would order you to comply with the tenancy agreement.

          A contract with a break clause that gives the landlord the right to serve two month's notice and you a 12 month break is likely to be unfair. However, that could be remedied by giving you a 2 month break clause, which is unlikely to help you.

          By not telling you the property was for sale, it is likely the estate agent has broken consumer law.
          However, while complaining to trading standards might be the right thing to do, it's unlikely to change anything.
          Complaining to the agent is also likely to result in little practical result.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            It appears to me that
            1. You do have to provide reasonable access to the property for viewings, as that is a clause in the agreement.
            2. It is unfair for the LL to have a break clause but not the T, so they should not be able to enforce that.
            3. You have agreed a term of 24 months so the LL cannot lawfully remove you from the property before the end of 24 months (or 12 months if the LL break clause is found to be valid by a court). Selling the property has no effect on that; the clause stating 2 months notice is not legally enforceable.
            In order lawfully to get you out of the property without your agreement the LL has to issue a S8 notice (for breach of tenancy conditions) or S21 notice and, if you do not leave, go to court to seek possession. The judge will look at the circumstances to decide if the LL has the legal right to get his property back.

            Regarding the sale of the property, the LL can sell whenever he likes, BUT the new LL is bound by the tenancy agreement including the minimum term.

            If you are going to let out property, then make sure you know the law and understand your responsibilities; joining a LL organisation and undertaking their training is advisable.
            If you use an agent, then choose carefully and remember that you are legally responsible for any breaches of letting law that your agent makes.

            Comment


              #7
              Whilst I haven't researched this, it would seem to me that being able to add a two month notice break clause for the landlord would so fundamentally undermine AST protections that, surely, the law would make such a clause void. if that were not the case, I would expect such clauses to have rapidly appeared in all ASTs.

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                #8
                Even if the anytime two months landlord break clause is enforceable, all the notice does would be to end the fixed term, thus starting a statutory periodic one after. Assuming England, the landlord would still be required to serve a section 21 notice, which they cannot do within the first four months, after which giving at least another two months notice, and then the time it takes to go to court for order, warrant, and the enforcement by bailiffs. For AST in Wales, no limitation on how early a s21 can be served but an order of possession cannot be made to take effect within the first six months. Either way, a tenant in an AST have at a minimum six months security.

                Now to the OP, if you wanted to, YOU could probably decide to unwind the tenancy due to the misinformation from the landlord/LA.
                I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

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