landlord wants to sell 2 months into tenancy....and we want to move

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    landlord wants to sell 2 months into tenancy....and we want to move

    Hi,

    We recently moved into flat and stupidly took on a longer contract than we perhaps should have in order to get a lower weekly rent (and in the hope we would not want to move again before we bought our own place).

    We are now 2 months in and are keen to move out if possible. It's not terrible but we have had lot's of teething problems and the area/flat is nosier than we initially thought.

    We were told today that the landlord is now keen to sell the place. My initial thought was that this was always his plan and that selling it as a buy to let with a sitting tenant might be more attractive to a buyer than without. Is this likely to be the case?

    I understand from Shelter that our contract is automatically transfered to the new owner and we just continue on as normal. Surely we would need to see and sign the new contract? Could we just refuse to do this?

    We would like to talk to the landlord/agent on behalf of the landlord and ask if we could move out when he sells it but want to make sure we do it the right way. I believe we can ask for a "mutual surrender" of the current contract? Would we be better to negotiate with the new owner before signing the contract?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    #2
    In the absence of any mutual agreement to the contrary, your contract would continue with the new landlord until the end of your fixed term, i.e., you would not normally sign a new contract simply because the property changes hands.

    Whether your current LL would prefer to sell with vacant possession or ready-tenanted cannot be known without asking him. Ask him! If he is happy to let you out of your contract early, he would be advised to have a Deed of surrender drafted, then signed by you and himself. Normally these are on the LL's terms, however if you knew that he would much rather sell with vacant possession, then you might have a bit of leverage to insist on the terms being favourable to you. You could always get a friend to ring up the estate agent who's selling the house to ask whether there's any chance of a sale with vacant possession and see what the response is. If the agent says 'Well, that would be ideal, but there's a tenant still in there for another 10 months, I'm afraid', then make your move! If he says 'No, it's an ideal BTL property and is being sold ready tenanted', then you may be there for a while!
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      #3
      Originally posted by beedee View Post
      I understand from Shelter that our contract is automatically transfered to the new owner and we just continue on as normal. Surely we would need to see and sign the new contract? Could we just refuse to do this?
      There would be no new contract. Existing contract would simply continue.

      If you were offered a new contract (and a surrender of the existing one), you could refuse to sign it, but the existing contract would otherwise continue.

      We would like to talk to the landlord/agent on behalf of the landlord and ask if we could move out when he sells it but want to make sure we do it the right way. I believe we can ask for a "mutual surrender" of the current contract?
      Yes. Say you'd like to negotiate an early surrender.

      Would we be better to negotiate with the new owner
      Probably not, as if the property is being offered for sale with tenants on a longish contract, the buyer will quite likely to be buying as a rental investment, so there'd be little incentive to agree an early surrender.

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