problem with workers living on-site

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    problem with workers living on-site

    Hi all

    I am currently selling a business where two employees live on site (they are a couple) and have done so for about 18 months.

    They pay weekly rent - considering it's bills included it might be considered a little below market value, although it is not crazy low. I never had a written tenancy agreement in place. The matter is also not covered in their employment contracts.

    My prospective buyer is worried about not having protection should they refuse to move out if their employment ends - knowing them well I would be amazed if this happens, and logistically it would make no sense for them to stay on-site if their jobs should end.

    So I don't want to be getting them to sign a deed of surrender, an employment-linked occupancy agreement, changing their employment contracts etc. when I have no commitment the sale will go through (and the workers could well refuse to sign) but conversely I see where the buyer is coming from.

    Any suggestions how to resolve?

    Thanks!


    #2
    Would new owner not be keeping them on as employees then? I can understand why he is concerned. If you want to sell as a going concern, new owner will have to take them with the business.

    Comment


      #3
      Did you provide required Rent Book details in writing, as rent is due weekly?
      If everything else is in order, you may be able to serve s21 which is valid for 6 months.
      Talk to Ts about sale.

      Comment


        #4
        "Everything in order.." means everything on this list....
        https://nearlylegal.co.uk/section-21-flowchart/
        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...

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks all. The S21 route I don't think will be viable, nor do I want to serve an S21 on them! I think I will ask them to sign a service occupancy agreement and according variation of their employment contract linking employment to the accommodation: so creating a licence rather than a tenancy. Does anyone know if I can just cover it all in their employment contract, or do I need a separate service occupancy agreement?

          Comment


            #6
            What kind of work are they doing?
            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


              #7
              It's shift work on-site. The new owner wants me to arrange a deed of surrender...does this sound like a good idea, bearing in mind there is no written contract in the first place the past 18 months they have been living there?

              Comment


                #8
                You can't have a deed of surrender while they're still resident.
                If it's signed in advance it's not a deed of surrender, it's a contract to end the tenancy in the future, which has the same effect as notice.
                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


                  #9
                  They don't have to sign anything or agree to any new tenancy or alleged licence agreement.

                  An AST does not need to be on paper: They currently have an AST, verbal, entirely legal.

                  Paperwork such as you suggest, if challenged in court, might end up with being found actually an AST and fines, possible illegal eviction - landlords can & have got all those.

                  Your tenants - or their advisers/friends - may be viewing this.
                  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...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would not rush into getting them to sign anything until youve taken proper advice on this. If the new business owner has their own arrangements for the on site shift work, they wont want them living there. You may be able to serve a s21 notice if you gave them a gas safety cert before they moved in, otherwise you could be stuck with paying them to leave

                    Comment

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