Taking over tenant

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  • Taking over tenant

    I am buying a property with a sitting tenant on an AST.
    I had anticipated that the procedure would be for the present owner to give the tenant notice to quit, expiring on the day that contracts were exchanged, and for me to sign him up to a new tenancy.
    However, my solicitor says it is more usual for the tenancy simply to be transferred to me.
    I've learned (thanks to this board) that the terms of a tenancy can't be unilaterally varied to give the tenant a worse deal, but it does concern me that under this arrangement, I have no control over the terms of the tenancy.
    Could anyone comment on this?

  • #2
    Yes, your solicitor is correct by saying that you have no control over the terms of the tenant's existing tenancy.

    If you have any negotiating skills then maybe you and the tenant can sign a new agreement - but the tenant is within their rights to choose not to.

    Will you please share with us which clauses you find objectionable.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Poppy

      Will you please share with us which clauses you find objectionable.
      None yet, Poppy - we're still waiting for a copy of the tenancy agreement. My point is that I shall be taking over a tenant in property that I own, but the terms of the tenancy will be completely out of my control.

      On another matter, I'm assuming that the present owner will be required to return the tenant's security bond to him, and that I will then be able to seek one from him.


      • #4
        You have no control over the terms of the tenancy during the fixed term of the AST, but you will of course if you either serve S21 notice to end it and replace with a new tenant, or you sign the old tenant up to a new agreement with terms you want once the initial fixed period expires.


        • #5
          AFAIK, with regards the bond, I think the current owner transfers it over to you. I await clarification on this however.
          Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


          • #6
            As far as the bond is concerned, I was being guided by an entry on this board, to the effect that the bond could not be given to anyone other than the tenant.


            • #7
              If you do end up buying this property try to engineer a situation where your solicitor:
              - gets written permission from the tenant to transfer their deposit to you (the new landlord)
              - physically receives the money from the old landlord
              - accounts to the new landlord for it

              Are you aware of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Housing Act 2004 which will become active on 1 October 2006? The legislation applies to all ASTs commenced or renewed on or after this date. Try the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister website http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1152036


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