Property up for sale while rented - legal or not?

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  • Property up for sale while rented - legal or not?

    Hi, looking for some clarification please.

    Have a property which is currently rented and also up for sale. T has given notice so got back in touch with the usual estate agent we use (who it is also up for sale with) and they said it was illegal to have a property up for sale while it was rented. They then went on to say that having it up for sale could put prospective Ts off, which I can understand, but if the estate agent is saying its illegal then that situation wouldn't arise...

    Cheers, Stuco

  • #2
    It's not illegal in England/Wales.

    You may have difficulty showing the property once it is let because tenants have exclusive possession.

    Would you be wanting to sell with vacant possession?

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    • #3
      Your agent is talking garbage : Ask them which law would be broken, I'll gladly pay £10 to charity ifvthey can find one.
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      • #4
        Not illegal. However, tenant is not obliged to allow any viewings, either by estate agent to measure up and take photos, or prospective buyers, so the fact you have a tenant will put buyers off and inevitably delay any sale.

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        • #5
          Thank you. It didn't ring true with me but wanted to check so I can come back at them.
          Not so bothered about vacant possession although if we could sell it in the next month during the current Ts notice then that would be ideal, if unlikely.

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          • #6
            Without vacant possession will discourage buyers AND almost certainly reduce the valuation. Would you want to buy someone elses tenant-fom-hell?

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            • #7
              Also, anyone wishing to buy with a residential mortgage, would be refused if the property was not vacant possession. Tenant in place means BTL mortgage is the only option!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by stuco View Post
                but if the estate agent is saying its illegal then that situation wouldn't arise...

                Cheers, Stuco
                What does this mean?
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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                • #9
                  Hi, that the estate agent was contradicting themselves. On the one hand they were saying it was illegal (and therefore shouldn't happen) but on the other saying that in that ('illegal') situation it would put prospective buyers off.

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                  • #10
                    What would be the best way to do things. Current T leaves at end of this month. We have a mortgage on the property and need the rent to pay the mortgage therefore need to advertise for a new T but new T impacts on the selling of the property...

                    Any ideas welcome.

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                    • #11
                      Having a T means you may not be able to show the property to viewers - see posts 2 & 4.

                      You can't rent the place with exclusive possession and then expect people to allow you to come and go when you want to.

                      If you could genuinely move into the place until it was sold, you could let some rooms out to lodgers. No need for lengthy eviction for (genuine) lodgers.

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                      • #12
                        Its only a 1 bed (mezzanine) apartment so would be a bit cozy with lodgers

                        I realise T is within their rights to not allow viewings so bit of a catch22. We might have to keep going until the mortgage is paid off.

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                        • #13
                          If you can, continue to advertise it for sale and for rent (the agency are talking nonsense, but I think you know that, yes you can have it up for sale and for rent). Then see what happens first. If you receive an offer you accept on the sale you will have to support the mortgage until the sale goes through (in 3 months you can reckon)after your present tenant moves out. If an offer comes up for renting it and you are happy with your new rent amount, take it off the market for sale. It wouldn't be fair on new tenants to have it up for sale the moment they move in (and look at the time of year anyway!) Then towards the end of their tenancy, or after 6 months (say) then you can put it up for sale again if you want to do it at that time. But you may have changed your mind by then or who knows your new tenant may want to buy it from you in which case you get rent right up to the point of completion (watch out for any clauses in your contract with the lettings agent on commission in that eventuality though).

                          What happened to us is that we sold a flat with tenant still in situ, albeit they had given notice to leave and so were vacating. They left and we were still doing all the legal mumbo jumbo with our buyers, then their mortgage fell through. We put it up for sale again and accepted an offer almost immediately, only for the same thing to happen. By this time it had been empty for about 5 months, so I put it up for sale and/or rent, it rented in a few days and off we went again. 10 years later we still rent it!

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                          • #14
                            Not illegal no and happens a lot.

                            It is something though that I can find upsetting. T is looking for a long-term let. LL is looking for someone to cover their mortgage whilst they cannot sell it. It's treating Ts like a commodity. We want a home, not to do you a favour from property being repossessed as it's no longer appropriate to your personal needs but won't sell for what you need. I say all this from the prospective of someone being lied to by a police officer LL (was told long-term).

                            But, whilst I say all that there is a more moral way of doing it. Be truthful, there will be Ts out there that will only want a property 6 or 12 months. Drop the rent to reflect the need for property to be in a nice viewable condition and set days/times for viewings that are reasonable. You could agree that if T moves out at expiry of S21 then they get £100 bonus.

                            I'm just saying there are ways to treat ppl.
                            I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                            I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

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                            • #15
                              My flat is on the market for sale. I was aware that it may take months / years to sell in this climate so I vetted lots of potential tenants with the selling point of: you can rent my flat for £80 less a month if you agree to any viewings to take place. I also advertised for "Monday to Friday" tenants who work in the town and either commute or stay in hotels during the week, and go home on a weekend, allowing any viewings to take place on weekends.
                              I might be losing £80 a month, but at least the place is not sitting empty while it's on the market.
                              Of course, this does need a certain amount of trust in the tenant!

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