Short term let - assured tenancy template and how to allow sales viewing?

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    Short term let - assured tenancy template and how to allow sales viewing?

    Hello

    I urgently need some help. I'm selling my flat (which I used to live in but don't any more), but to help cover costs I'm getting some people in for about 3 months while I put it on the market.

    After plying the forums, I've at least managed to work out that I need an Assured Tenancy, not an AST.

    And I need to advise BEFOREHAND that I can seek to regain possession on grounds 1 or 2 of the Housing Act.

    I have some questions though:
    1. Where can I find an assured tenancy template? All I can find are ASTs!
    2. If I get someone in for three months, when do I need to legally issue the notice for possession? Or do I not need to as it's in the contract, and I just issue one month notice? (I'm really confused!)
    3. I'm aware that an assured tenancy provides tenants with certain extra rights, but I need to allow viewings for the sale. Do I add this to the contract, specifiying that with 24 hours notice, I can conduct viewings at reasonable hours during the contract?
    4. Where can I find the necessary wording for the notice to repossess (if there is one)?

    Apologies if I'm getting terminology mixed up, but hopefully my situation is relatively clear...

    Your help hugely appreciated!

    PS OR do I arrange a holiday letting agreement?
    Last edited by minniesquinn; 27-01-2011, 14:43 PM. Reason: Extra question

    #2
    Is it really worth letting for 3 months? By the time you have carried out credit checks on your tenants, and got an EPC (which I think you will still need even for such a short term let), plus gas safety check etc if relevant, will you actually make much money?

    If you have a mortgage on the property, do you have permission to let from provider?

    Where does the 3 months come into it? Is that when you want to put it on the market, or when you expect to sell it by? You cannot guarantee your T's will be willing to leave on the day you want them out, even if its all documented in the tenancy agreement and signed and sealed - read some of the nightmare eviction stories here.

    I don't think you can insist tenants allow viewings either. You can ask their permission, but they have a right to refuse, or can decide to make things difficult if the mood takes them!

    PS Just noticed its a flat - is it leasehold? If so, does your lease allow letting?

    Comment


      #3
      Hi LesleyAnne - thanks for your quick reply.

      It's not about making money, but minimising the loss.

      I know there's a risk attached, which is what I'm trying to minimise by asking about standard assured tenancies, instead of ASTs, and possibly being paid up front, taking all the necessary credit/reference checks, etc....

      Perhaps I get some sort of holiday let / formal house sitting agreement?

      Comment


        #4
        Being paid up front will not guarantee your tenants leave when you want them to. Even the most conprehensive tenancy agreement which appears to have everything covered from your perspective, can be ignored if a tenant refuses to leave, and may then sabotage any prospective sale you may get.

        We were trying to sell our flat with a tenant in place and he was very difficult about viewings, despite having a 24 notice clause in the TA. He was also less than complimentary about the place when viewings did take place.

        Sorry, not meaning to put a dampener on your plans, but there are many tales of woe here, and I wonder if a short-term let in your circumstances is worthwhile. You may get excellent tenants who do everything to the letter and it works out well, but sadly there are exceptions.

        Can you answer the mortgage/leasehold questions, as without permission to let, even for holidays etc, your plan is dead in the water anyway?

        By the way, I think the safety regs about holiday letting is far more involved than for residential, so more cost to consider!

        Comment


          #5
          I would suggest that you include a clause similar to this:

          ...Permit the Landlord or the Landlord’s Agent or those with written authority from the Landlord or the Landlord’s Agent during the last sixty days of the tenancy (howsoever determined) at reasonable hours in the daytime to enter and view the property with prospective tenants or purchasers thereof...
          OR .... The tenant herby agrees that during the last 60 days of the tenancy (howsoever determined) that the landlord or landlord’s agent will be allowed access to enter and view the property with prospective tenants or purchasers thereof for the purposes of viewing every Wednesday during the hours of 12 noon to 1400 hrs as well as every Saturday during the hours of 1600 hrs to 1800....

          Make sure you explain to the tenant the implications of this clause and get them to individually sign it. it will add any weight to your case but you must be aware, as an when you start asking for viewings on the property, that your tenant still has a core right to quiet enjoyment of the property and can still refuse.

          Comment


            #6
            for what it is worth and if you intend to sell the property i agree with Lesleyanne.
            Dress your flat well get the agents/purchasers excited and sell it quick.

            Comment


              #7
              1) You can not use an "Assured Tenancy" per se, and even if you did, it would not be what you wanted.
              2) You do need an AST "Assured Shorthold Tenancy"
              3) You can not involuntarily evict an AST tenant without a court order
              4) If the tenant does not breach the tenancy agreement, you can not obtain a court possession order within the first 6 months
              5) Residential Insurance would be invalidated if you are not resident
              6) HMRC would need to be told
              7) Your mortgage company would need to grant permission
              8) You would need your tenants permission (which they can withhold) or a court order to allow viewings (or even enter yourself) - google "quiet enjoyment"

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks all. So the general consensus is "don't bother"?

                What are the implications of the property being empty in terms of mortgage and insurance?

                Has anyone any experience of negotiating a grace period / interest only period with their mortgage lender in similar circumstances?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Your best bet would be to move back into the property and take in a lodger or 2, who have much less rights than tenants and who can be told to leave at any time.
                  You can draw up any agreement you like as there are no rules or regulations for lodgers.
                  This would allow you to determine viewing arrangements and rules that the lodgers keep their rooms clean & tidy.

                  Also, you don't have to live at the property all the time, but it must be classed as your main home in order for the lodgers to be lodgers.
                  In the event that you are deemed to live somewhere else, your lodgers automatically become converted into tenants.
                  Natural selection is a wonderful thing
                  You shall know them by their fruit
                  Saying "Never say never", says it

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's only a one bed. They'd have to be quite intimate lodgers!!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                      1) You can not use an "Assured Tenancy" per se, and even if you did, it would not be what you wanted.
                      2) You do need an AST "Assured Shorthold Tenancy"
                      3) You can not involuntarily evict an AST tenant without a court order
                      4) If the tenant does not breach the tenancy agreement, you can not obtain a court possession order within the first 6 months
                      5) Residential Insurance would be invalidated if you are not resident
                      6) HMRC would need to be told
                      7) Your mortgage company would need to grant permission
                      8) You would need your tenants permission (which they can withhold) or a court order to allow viewings (or even enter yourself) - google "quiet enjoyment"
                      minniesquinn: That post is, I regret, wholly wrong in items 1/2/4.
                      As an ex-owner-occupier, you can certainly let on an SAT. Use an AST Agreement, if you must, but amend it correctly or (better still) instruct your solicitor to prepare it. BEFORE granting it, serve T with 'ground 1' Notice in duplicate and- vitally- ensure that you get a countersigned copy back again before T gets any keys or moves-in.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Mortgage/Insurance rules, they all vary so check your documents carefully.

                        Obviously, if you were living there, you could feasibly be allowed to take holidays, which involve leaving the place unoccupied. Could you split your time between the flat and where you live now, that way you may not actually be contravening their rules?

                        Also, if you do leave it empty, take some security measures like automatic light switches to make it look occupied, and leave background heating on in the cold weather to prevent frozen pipes and damp problems.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by minniesquinn View Post
                          Thanks all. So the general consensus is "don't bother"?

                          What are the implications of the property being empty in terms of mortgage and insurance?

                          Has anyone any experience of negotiating a grace period / interest only period with their mortgage lender in similar circumstances?
                          Insurance - you will have to tell your insurer if the property is going to be empty for over X days, it varies from company to company - phone them or see your policy. You are likely to find that your cover drops (but your premiums don't). However, as I said above, with a tenant, the insurance is likely to be invalid. full stop.

                          Mrtgage company - they will want to know because the risk to their security is compromised. I wouldn't expect any extra fee.

                          Interest only - souldn't be a problem, I'm doing the same right now and the only issue was the £75 fee!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If you sell the flat within 6 weeks you will only be to the detrimental effect of a month and half’s mortgage payments.
                            If you let the property you may get (let’s say xxx a month) £xxx over 3 months – it is unlikely that the new tenant is going to move in 'Tomorrow’ so ultimately you will have a void period of for arguments sake half a month. Therefore reducing your income. To do this formally you need to inform your mortgagee who inevitably will have clauses and restrictions your premium may even go up by 1-1.5% although this is an outside chance on a 2-3 month agreement. Your insurance premium will go up with a tenant. You need to inform your lease holder and most will charge you a fee for the permission to let. Your tenants will not dress the house for viewings – after all what is in it for them… prospective purchasers will not see your property at its best and probably hit your asking price for it… potential purchasers will be advised by their solicitor to delay the ‘exchange’ until the tenant has vacated after all they do not want a sitting tenant and therefore you will have a void of probably another 2-4 weeks.
                            There are great tenants out there and this forum and other like it are here for a very small minority of cases where things go wrong. If you can sell it quick then is it worth a risk for possibly a net gain of a few hundred pounds ??

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks Leefenn and everyone else. Yeh, I think I'll see about negotiating with the lender to put me onto interest only while I market the property. Move back there and dress it up so I can keep it looking nice, use up all my savings but hope that I can reap them back with a quick sell. I'll miss my hubbie though.

                              Comment

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