Sale of property before a tenancy begins

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    Sale of property before a tenancy begins


    I am wondering if anyone may be able to help offer any advice on my situation.

    My partner and I are due to move out of our current rented apartment this friday and only last week found somewhere to live. We made an offer last Monday and it was accepted on the same day. Both the us and the Landlord have signed the tenancy agreement and dated it (he dated that the agreement would begin on the 3rd of September 2010, and the actual term of the lease would start effective the 8th of September 2010). All funds have been paid and cleared, all references checked and we were told by the estate agent that the inspection was being done first thing on the 8th and we could pick up the keys after that.

    This morning the estate agent has come back to us and regretfully told us the Landlord has accepted an offer of sale on the apartment, and asked us to urgently provide a sum of compensation so that the landlord could review it and approve payment.... Needless to say we were quite shocked and now we are both unsure where we stand legally.

    Is anyone able to advise if our agreement (which on the front of the contract states that it shall be legally binding upon both parties signing and dating it and is enforceable in a court of law) is still valid even though we technically haven't moved in yet?

    And what would be an appropriate formula to determine a compensation amount?

    Ideally we don't want to find somewhere else because it took us so long to find this place and we love it (and of course we don't want to be homeless.. :\)... but we don't want to be difficult.. just want to know what our legal recourse may be..


    Clearly, this would be a breach of contract by the landlord. As the tenancy hadn't begun, I don't see any issues regarding illegal eviction.

    I would ask the landlord for an amount equal to one 6th of the rent value of the contract - so if it was a 12 month contract @ £1000 per month, ask for £2000. Justify this as covering your additional expenses finding alternative accommodation, and increased rent due on your current place due to the 1737 Distress for rent act (you will probably not be charged this - but just in case).

    You DO NOT have to leave your current place even if you have given notice. There may well be consequenses, but you can only be physically removed by court bailiffs with a court order.

    You may also want to contact the purchaser - they may be buying it as a rental property anyway.


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