Buying house with sitting tenants - tenancy agreement?

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    #16
    Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
    I'm guessing that Wikipedia being the recent and worldwide thing it is maybe does not represent the particular definition some of us put on the term in England.
    ....................
    Fuller quote from Wikipedia....
    A sitting tenant is a tenant already in occupation of premises, especially when there is a change of owner. Sitting tenants can result from a failure to evict an assured shorthold tenant following a change of owner ..etc etc etc ....
    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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      #17
      Originally posted by riskchick View Post
      I did have another quick related query - ref the deposit, this is insured, and as I have a copy of the AST I can see that the agency (used just as a tenant finder) have put their name down as the landlord. I know that it should have my name on it, but since they have put their name on the AST nothing is really any different, so can I just leave it as it is?
      Actually the question highlights a problem.

      You're not buying the property from the landlord.
      The landlord is whoever is named as landlord on the tenancy agreement and it isn't the seller.

      So everything about simply taking over the tenancy is not correct.

      Either the seller needs to put in place a tenancy agreement with them as the landlord to correct the problem, or they need to serve the correct s48 and s3 notices on the tenant to make them the landlord first.

      You would prefer the second option as a new tenancy agreement is more onerous for you and there are a number of things that you would be relying on the landlord to do if a new tenancy starts.
      And it doesn't sound like the seller has much of a grasp of details.


      The agent actually has the deposit, and the seller needs to make arrangements for them to transfer this to you (directly or via them).
      You should ensure you don't complete until this money is in your possession.
      In the meantime the seller needs to ensure that the deposit remains insured.
      You should then protect the deposit again when you complete.


      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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        #18
        Hi, the seller is also the landlord - I assume that simplifies matters?

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          #19
          Originally posted by riskchick View Post
          Hi, the seller is also the landlord - I assume that simplifies matters?
          ref the deposit, this is insured, and as I have a copy of the AST I can see that the agency (used just as a tenant finder) have put their name down as the landlord. I know that it should have my name on it, but since they have put their name on the AST nothing is really any different, so can I just leave it as it is?
          Who is named as The Landlord on the tenancy agreement?
          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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            #20
            Shouldn't the prescribed information have the landlord's name on not the agents? Though I accept the agent can legally sign on behalf of the landlord

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              #21
              Originally posted by cymro123 View Post
              Shouldn't the prescribed information have the landlord's name on not the agents? Though I accept the agent can legally sign on behalf of the landlord
              Not necessarily: See the experts, Shelter Legal....
              https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal..._information#0
              & e.g.
              • landlord's name, address and contact details (ie telephone number and any e-mail address or fax number) or of her/his initial agent
              So the original agent's name etc is OK (I am surprised to find out..)

              NB This is for Engerland only, not necessarily Wales, land of my fathers.. (I do mean my fathers...)
              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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                #22
                Riskchick,join NLA/RLA.

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                  #23
                  Assuming an AST, you need to ensure (obtain evidence, not just seller's word) that all necessary things were done at the start of the tenancy and when it became statutory periodic.
                  These include (but not necessarily limited to)
                  1. Gas Safety Certificate (if required) was provided to tenant before they first occupied the premises (if occupation was after March 2015, approximately); if not you may never be able to issue a S21 notice.
                  2. There is a current GSC that has been passed to the tenant within the prescribed time.
                  3. Deposit was protected within prescribed time
                  4. Deposit Prescribed Information was supplied within the prescribed time.
                  5. How to rent issued.
                  6. EPC issued to tenant.
                  You also need to ensure that it is indeed an AST.
                  As stated above, an AST agreed in 2017 does not mean that the T did not have a tenancy of the property before that date. If they did have an earlier tenancy, then the date may determine the type of the tenancy and type of the first tenancy probably determines what type the current tenancy is.

                  If any of the above have not been done, then you need to determine what effect it could have on you, both financially and legally, and negotiate an appropriate discount.

                  You appear to be saying
                  • The seller is identified as the landlord on the tenancy agreement.
                  • The letting agent is identified as the landlord for purposes of deposit protection.
                  The first of these (I believe) means that the advice earlier on serving notices is correct.

                  The second of these may (or may not) be an issue.

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                    #24
                    Thanks again for all the advice- I've verified all of point 1 - 6 with the tenants, also the dates when they moved in. The house was purchased a few weeks before they moved in and they were the first tenants so definitely no problems there - their previous addresses are also noted on the AST.
                    I don't have reservations about the AST, the outstanding query that I have now really relates to the letting agent being identified as the landlord for the deposit protection. Having checked the ASTs for my other properties, this seems to be standard practise, I just wasn't sure of the easiest way of dealing with this.

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