Selling a house with tenants - What are my rights?

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    Selling a house with tenants - What are my rights?

    I had been trying to sell my house for over a year since I had to move away due to a job but based on bad advice from my agents I decided to rent. The agent has been apalling and currently is being very unhelpful and now I'm trying to work out how to sell my house at the end of the fixed term. I really don't want the tenants to stay any longer, the whole renting out has been a bit of nightmare.

    I know I need to issue 21(b) and let the tenant know I intend to sell, will I be able to show buyers around with the tenants still occupying? Do I have any legal rights wrt selling.

    Do I also need to let the agent know I have issued 21(b).

    Any advive would be apprciated.

    Many Thanks

    You can sell freely BUT you have no rights to inspect the premises internally (and cannot give anyone else such rights, either) unless T consents.
    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
    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).


      You need to think about whether prospective buyers are going to see it in it's full glory with tenants in there, or should you get them out and then sell it.

      You will lose rental income sure, but the tenants will have no real interest in securing a sale for you by having the house look tiptop every time a viewer comes.

      Maybe what you will lose in rent you will gain by either a higher asking price or a faster sale.

      Consider carefully.


        We tried to sell with a T insitu and it was a nightmare. We expected him to refused viewings (as was his right), but surprisingly he agreed, then took great delight in ruining the viewing by pointing out what he thought was wrong with the place and put them off!

        Your Agent should be able to issue the notice for you, but you can do so yourself. However, check your agency contract first as there may be something tying you to the agents which they will try to charge you for! When your tenants leave, you will also have to arrange a check-out inventory etc, and return of deposit. As your LA arranged the check-in and took the deposit initially, you may have to consult them to achieve this. I assume the deposit was protected?

        Also, remember an S21 is not a notice to quit and there is no guarantee your Ts will move out on the date specified. You may still have to apply to the courts for possession.

        Do you know current condition of the property? You may be better getting the T out first, then tidying the place and presenting it at its best for the selling market.


          I would also consider the sales market very carefully. We tried to sell two properties last year. Very nice flats, one in Canary Wharf and one in Brighton. Great locations, very well presented, extremely amenable tenants (who were offered reduced rent in exchange for allowing viewings). We priced them sensibly and made it clear we were open to offers...we hardly got a viewing on either one and nothing even close to an offer. We were also due to complete on an off plan apartment next month and have had to forfeit the deposit (huge sum of money) and rescind the contract (more cost) because only one lender will lend on the development and they are valuing 100K below the price we agreed to pay and are only offering 50% LTV. To buy the property we would have had to find 200K in cash. Just couldn't do it. These off plan flats are lovely and we would have paid the agreed price happily if we could have borrowed 75% of it. Fantastic location in Canary Wharf, very nicely finished, hugely sought after in the rental market but the banks just will not lend on them.

          I knew from the papers that things were tough but I had no idea how genuinely difficult it is to borrow money to buy anything, even really nice stuff. With low interest rates we have decided that we are better to hang on for a few years even though we really don't want to be landlords any more!


            My agent is really unhelpful, I have asked several questions about the notice to quit and they just told me that I should issue one.

            I am unsure to the state of the proprty since they have still not completed the six month veiwing (fixed term of 12 months) despite me constatntly ringing up etc.

            Do I have the right to inspect the propert myself seeing as they have not completed the viewing within the agreed period?


              Originally posted by NickyG View Post
              Do I have the right to inspect the propert myself seeing as they have not completed the viewing within the agreed period?
              If you do your own inspection, you will not be doing anything wrong with regard to the contract between you and the agent.

              HOWEVER, you do not have 'the right' to do a inspection, and neither does your agent. If the tenant is unwillng to allow you access (as is their right) then the inspection can not be done - well not unless you get a court order!


                Originally posted by NickyG View Post
                My agent is really unhelpful, I have asked several questions about the notice to quit and they just told me that I should issue one.
                A S.21 Notice is NOT a Notice to Quit.
                The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


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