Purchasing property with old tenancy

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    Purchasing property with old tenancy

    Very grateful for some general advice.

    Recently bought a freehold auction property (house) in England. We are due to complete in around a week. In summary the price was low as there were no viewings, property is sold as tenanted and not sure about whether the owner is still around, auctioneer have hardly any information (inlcuding contact details of tenants) and the Assured Stanadrd tenancy agreement is around 15 years old. The rent is around half of similar properties currently. Most likely a probate and no one has much information.

    This really old tenancy is in 1 name, but basic online searches do show other names with that address. I know that does not mean a lot but maybe others have or do live there or possibly sub let.

    I have let out a property for many years and aware of obligations (i.e. gas, deposit, electrical etc etc) and that as soon as I complete I do a change of landlord notice.

    Due to the strange scenerio and not much information available, I just want to know how people suggest I proceed. For example, once house is in my name should I knock on the door, if answered I will ask for the name of the tenancy to proceed?. What if there is no answer or if the person answering the door does not know who the person on the tenancy is?

    Whether the tenant is around or not I need to start evictions proceedings, I assume this will be section 21 and currently needs 6 months notice. Should I serve that via post once I own the house?

    Many thanks

    You need to find out when the tenant first moved in. If it was prior to 28 Feb 1997 then it is likely to be an Assured tenancy and evicting the tenant could be difficult. If it was before 15 Jan 1989 then it is probably a Rent Act tenancy and will be practically impossible to remove the tenant. I beleive that the fact that they may have signed an AST more recently would not alter their rights under those original tenancies.


      It's not just when they (the current tenants) moved in, they could have inherited the tenancy from a relative and have significant additional protections than conventional AST tenants.
      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).


        Thanks. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy is dated January 2008 - so around 12 years.



          I will try to ascertain that if and when I make contact, after completing


            Originally posted by whiskywhisky View Post
            Thanks. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy is dated January 2008 - so around 12 years.
            That there's a shiny signed AST is all very interesting but if they moved in significantly earlier you could have an AT or "Rent Act" tenancy, so no s21.

            FIND OUT FROM TENANT before completion, ideally before exchange..

            That the price is low is a VERY BIG clue that there's a problem...

            Unless you can afford to wait until tenant & any relatives die, whilst finding rent is controlled at well under market rates..

            Your shout, your money....
            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...


              Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
              If it was prior to 28 Feb 1997 then it is likely to be an Assured tenancy
              E&W above.

              Just to point out Scotland RT is before 2nd January 1989, NI RT is before 1st April 2007.

              Assured tenancy Scotland is before 1st December 2007. NI ?
              Thunderbirds are go


                If it's too cheap there is a problem - common sense.

                Freedom at the point of zero............


                  Ask your solicitor who the vendor is, shouldn't be a big mystery. I'm guessing you've already paid a non refundable deposit which makes it difficult to walk away. A variety of problems may arise but if you have it for the right price it doesn't need to be a disaster.


                    Three words without needing the rest of the sentence -


                    Hope for your sake that we are wrong, but with a sitting tenant ......

                    As that TV programme says - always check the legal details before buying cheap at auction.
                    A newish (even 12 year old) AST may have no legal standing.


                      Thanks... I have emailed my solicitor asking whether they can obtain more info. Yes with it being an auction property I have paid 10%.

                      As I have already committed (10% etc and auctioneers fees) I most likely will complete, I hope to get some information in the next week before completion but very much doubt it.

                      Moving forward thinking that I will complete I would be grateful for advice whether the following should be my plan of action:

                      1) Look into the procedure of informing change of landlord and get that ready, then on completion day should I post that "recorded" or just through the letter box? and ask whenever convenient they get in contact?
                      2) Maybe the day after completion, knock on the door. If the person who answers is the same person as named on the old tenancy then fine, but what if it is another person who does not know the tenancy named person?
                      3) What if no on answers and no one contacts after a week or so?

                      The reason to contact the tenant will be to ascertain how we go forward with the tenancy, but also to fulfill my obligations (gas / electriciity etc certificates).



                        You've probably bought well. There is a special notice for telling a tenant of a new landlord called a s3, but the sellers solicitor should provide at completion a letter to the tenant telling the tenant to pay the rent to you as new owner. Your tenant is either an assured or an assured shorthold tenant. Cant be under the rent act if the agreement was dated this century. In either event at some point you can put the rent up, but you want to find out what are the disrepairs. In the old days landlords left rents low because then tenants didnt complain so much about lack of repair


                          Thanks, that is what I am thinking (hoping) that is it due to the state of the property or another reason (let to a friend) that the price is low, either way I was aware (probably stupidly) that I am taking a big risk when I was bidding. I will look into S3 just in case the other solicitor does not notify.


                            Don't ever use recorded delivery (or whatever it's called now) as the recipient can decline to sign for it, or, if they're not in when the postman calls, it simply goes to a sorting office and a card gets pushed through the door.
                            If the recipient doesn't collect it, it's returned and there is clear evidence it was never delivered.

                            Post 1st class from a post office and get a free proof of posting document.
                            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).


                              Thanks will do


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