Private Landlord Selling House

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    Private Landlord Selling House

    Hi, i apologise if this is a question that comes up often, but i need some advice.
    We privately rent our house, the landlord is a family friend of my husbands so we didn't pay any deposit etc. We have been here since November 2012.
    We had a 12 month AST, and when it expired he came to see us and said it wouldn't be renewed and he was putting the house on the market in the new year.
    This happened, and for the last two weeks we have had people come and view the house. The estate agent came and had a chat with us, because he knew that ideally we would like to stay, he said he was approaching other landlords on their books, to see if they want to buy with current tenants.
    This hasn't come to anything, and a couple who viewed yesterday (and seemed interested) are not wanting to rent it out.
    What i'm concerned about is that a year ago we were in financial difficulties and entered into an IVA, because of this we have limited disposable income and will not be able to afford to rent another house through an agent, as the deposit/fees we would not be able to meet, also not sure what impact the IVA would have on us getting a rental? we have no option of a guarantor as my parents are both retired, and my husbands parents are retired early on medical grounds.

    So our only option is Council housing, so we would need a s.21 form i believe? Who would issue this? would it be the current owner or the estate agents?
    I have read that if we leave the property before the council rehome us, then we would be making ourselves intentially homeless so they wouldn't help us, but then what happens with the new owners moving in? could they then pull out of the sale because of the delay? would that get us into any trouble?

    Sorry that is a lot of questions, if i have posted in the wrong place i apologise, i am just very worried, not sleeping and thinking i wont have a home for my 3 yr old twins.

    #2
    Originally posted by twinmommy View Post
    not sure what impact the IVA would have on us getting a rental? we have no option of a guarantor as my parents are both retired, and my husbands parents are retired early on medical grounds.
    It will have a big impact, I'm afraid. You're likely to fail any credit check; the only possible ways round it are usually to offer to pay a large chunk of rent upfront, or to provide a guarantor; both of which you've indicated are a no-go.

    So our only option is Council housing, so we would need a s.21 form i believe? Who would issue this? would it be the current owner or the estate agents?
    An S21 form is issued to you by whoever is managing the property; doesn't matter to you whether it's the owner or the agent. It's basically your 2 months notice to leave; however you certainly aren't obliged to do so at that point - that is the earliest date on which the landlord is able to apply to the courts to get a possession order - it always takes many weeks after that to get to court, after which you will be given a definite date to leave (14-28 days hence).

    I have read that if we leave the property before the council rehome us, then we would be making ourselves intentially homeless so they wouldn't help us, but then what happens with the new owners moving in? could they then pull out of the sale because of the delay? would that get us into any trouble?
    You're correct about the intentional homelessness thing. However the new owners are not your problem - their solicitor (if he's got any nows at all) will not let them sign for the property until you've left; and you certainly can't be forced to do so until there's a Possession Order in place. A more likely scenario would be that the sale will fall through. The only possible 'trouble' you are exposed to is that an annoyed landlord is less likely to give you a decent reference.

    If I were the landlord I'd already have issued the S21 by now, as he's risking compromising his sale if you haven't left in time for it to complete. You might want to have a conversation with him or the agent and explain your predicament; ie because of the council house thing you won't be able to leave the property until there's a possession order. They should understand that (but it will almost certainly push them into issuing the S21 - depends ihow you feel about that?)

    EDIT: It's just occurred to me: are you absolutely sure you haven't already been issued with an S21 (Section 21 form?) Many agents actually do this as a matter of course as a 'precautionary' measure at the beginning of the tenancy, when you sign the agreement; and then don't act on it unless they need to. The more I think about it, the more I think that could be what's happened. You need to check your paperwork carefully and find out - if you have been given the S21 already (which certainly won't get you a council house), then it would probably mean that the next thing you receive will be a letter from the courts advising you of a hearing date (ie, the timeframe mentioned above will have been brought forward by 2-3 months).

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      #3
      Thanks for the reply, we only had the original tenancy paperwork, no mention of s.21 at all.
      I am starting to wonder whether he is under the impression we will just move out and go elsewhere if the buyer is someone who wants the house for themselves, he wanted to sell to an investor, which is why he hasn't given us that form yet but as you say, he is potentially putting his sale at risk.
      Council housing really is our only option, we just don't have the funds to pay letting agents fees.
      The couple who viewed yesterday are having a 2nd look tomorrow morning, so this is getting more real now and i need to be clue'd up on our rights

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        #4
        As has been said, you are in no immediate danger of being made homeless, but you need to sort out your options now. You will have at least 2 months from when the s21 is issued to you, and probably another month or so more after that before you actually legally have to move out.

        Speak to you local council and explain the situation. Some Councils help the moment the s21 expires (ie at the end of the 2 months notice) others say you have to wait until the next stage where the LL has applied to the court and been granted possession.

        Another option to think about if cash would help you situation, is that the LL might be prepared to pay you compensation to move out early / promptly. Also, explain your difficulty to the estate agent. It's just possible they know of a cheap rental where the LL will accept you with an IVA - particularly if you have a good record of paying the rent. It will be in the EA's interest to help you out!
        IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Anything I say here is just an opinion, so should not be relied upon! Always check your facts with a professional who really knows their onions.

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