Friday hypothetical

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    Friday hypothetical

    An employee and I often create crazy hypothetical legal situations just so that we can argue about them. Sometimes they're borne out of something that's happened or might happen in our business, but often they're just the product of our imaginations (I know, I know, we need more hobbies).

    What's everyone's take on the following?

    A couple sign an AST together (joint and several) and occupy a property together. 3 months in they separate and one of them physically vacates, rent continues to be paid and the tenancy continues.

    The vacating tenant then makes a deal with the landlord to buy the property and does so. However, the remaining partner won't leave.

    On the one hand, the sale of the property doesn't end the tenancy, but the new owner can't be a landlord to a tenancy he is a tenant of. I suppose the vacating partner could have ended the tenancy for both of them with notice prior to the sale, but what happens if the remaining partner refuses to leave?

    What rights, if any, are they afforded?

    NB; the question came about because it looked like it might happen on a property we have. The husband is buying the house is (now ex) wife is living in but there has been a tenancy with his name on for since he left just over a year ago. The ex-wife is leaving, but we wondered what might happen if she didn't. I suppose the sale just wouldn't complete until vacant possession was available.

    As you say, the vacated person who is buying the property can (and should) end the tenancy by giving notice.
    At the end of the notice period the remaining person is holding over and
    1. Court action is required to obtain possession, and
    2. The tenant is liable to paying the landlord an amount equal to double the rent under the Distress for Rent Act.
    If no tenant notice is given, then I do not know the position.


      Well, there's no merger as the reversion and the lease isn't held by the same person in the same capacity. A person can't grant a tenancy to themselves, but it's not impossible for a landlord and a tenant to be the same person. Brings all kind of troubles from what I can tell, but it's not impossible.

      The non-occupying tenant buyer need to give notice that determine the lease before completion, and certainly ideally with vacant possession.

      Originally posted by HantsAgent View Post
      The husband is buying the house is (now ex) wife ....
      Have the decree absolute been granted? Because if not and they're still married, now you're bringing in family law into the equation.......... Definitely specialist lawyer time.
      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.


        On a practical level a decent conveyancer shouldn't complete until the issue is resolved, because the position after sale is unclear.

        The (joint) tenant is a different legal person to the husband, so the tenancy would change on completion from one between the seller and the joint tenant to one between the husband and the joint tenant.

        The fact that the husband is a component of the joint tenant doesn't matter, as the joint tenant is (legally) indivisible while it exists.
        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).


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