landlord saying agreement invalid due to selling property

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    landlord saying agreement invalid due to selling property

    Dear All,




    I am a student and am currently renting a house in England. My housemates and I have just signed a new tenancy agreement for 2021-2022 academic year (start date of the agreement 16 july 2021) stating that we will be continuing to rent the same house.

    Today the landlady told us that she’s selling the house and the contract will be invalid due to her not being the owner anymore. We were told that we might beed to find a new house as new landlord may not want tenants.

    This is super inconvenient due to us not being in the country at the moment (due to covid I have temporarily moved to home country) and all the good houses are already taken. It will take me time and a lot of stress to find new house to live in. Furthermore, exams are upcoming and I would like to focus on them rather than worrying about finding the house.

    I have already payed deposit. Technically, I am being notified well in advance. The contract does not stipulate anything on this, but I will have a closer look.




    Could you please advise wether I can get a compensation for inconveniences? And what legal documents should I use to speak with the agency? How can I get my deposit back?




    Thank you all in advance!

    #2
    Yes, if you have a signed contract for a tenancy and the landlady is unable or unwilling to provide possession when the time comes, she'll be in breach of contract. So you should be able to claim mitigated loss against her. But you have time to find a new place, so the mitigated loss may not be that high in practice.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for your response

      The contract doesn’t stipulate anything on this. What law is applicable? Consumer law or landlord/tenant act?

      There’s only some information on mortgage in the contract :,

      Should the Premises be subject to a mortgage granted before the beginning of the Tenancy the provisions for recovery of possession by a mortgagee in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 and Section 7(6) of the Housing Act 1988 apply accordingly. If the Landlord's mortgagee is or becomes entitled to exercise its power of sale then the Landlord's mortgagee shall be entitled to forfeit this Agreement and gain vacant possession of the Premises on Ground 2 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
      5.11 Should the Premises be the Landlord's main or principal home before the beginning of the Tenancy the provisions for recovery of possession by the Landlord in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 apply accordingly.

      Does this mean that if the new landlord is buying house through mortgage, there is no breach of contract ?

      Comment


        #4
        That's a standard piece of text in a lot of tenancy agreements and doesn't affect your rights.

        Both consumer and contract law are applicable.

        Your first action should be to respond to the landlord and point out that they can't simply pull out of the contract and that you intend to hold them to it, as it is very unlikely that you will be able to find alternative accomodation.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          I think you are in a strong position here.

          Your current tenancy (presumably) ends on 15th July. Without your agreement the landlord certainly cannot sell with vacant possession before that date. If you are in possession at the very last moment of 15th July and do not leave you will also be in possession at the very first moment of 16th July. Since you have an agreement for a new tenancy starting on that date the new tenancy will immediately take effect in possession and bind the current landlord and any future landlord.

          In case the landlord finds some loophole that has not occurred to me, you should apply to register notice of the new agreement using Form UN1 available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...n-to-enter-un1. No purchaser who wants vacant possession is going to buy with that notice on the register.

          Comment


            #6
            Good spot Lawcruncher, I'd missed that the tenants were already in possession of the property.

            Absolutely. Simply don't move out or agree to move out.
            Ideally, stay overnight on 15th July and wake up in your new tenancy on 16th.

            The landlord can't sell with vacant possession, because they can't provide that.
            Nor can they compel you to leave on or before the 15th.

            They might be motivated to find you alternative accommodation or to compensate you for doing what they need you to do.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you very much for your responses!

              I wonder what to do now.. I guess they’re trying to play on us (tenants ) being foreigners and not knowing the law.

              Could you please advise how much compensation should I claim ? On what grounds should the claim be?

              Can I still claim compensation and not vacate the premises alone , in case other tenants (3 of us including me) move out politely?

              I still worry that they (the agency and the landlord) have notified me of the selling well in advance . The law says 2 months notice.. But still there is a new signed contract in place with payed deposit

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by lyalya View Post
                Could you please advise how much compensation should I claim ? On what grounds should the claim be?
                I'm not sure that's any of my business!

                Can I still claim compensation and not vacate the premises alone , in case other tenants (3 of us including me) move out politely?
                I would depend if you're on a joint agreement or if you're on separate agreements.

                Is the new tenancy agreement with the same group of people - because that might complicate things.

                I still worry that they (the agency and the landlord) have notified me of the selling well in advance . The law says 2 months notice.. But still there is a new signed contract in place with payed deposit
                Notice can only expire once the fixed element of the tenancy ends.
                When is that?

                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  We’re all on the same agreement.

                  Sorry, i’m not sure what “fixed element of tenancy” is.. Current agreement ends on the 15th of July. New one is from 16th July

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If it's one agreement, are the people on the new agreement the same as on this one?
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Whilst a legal forum ought to concentrate on the law, I think it is worth pointing out here that you occupy the moral high ground. The landlord agreed a new tenancy and now wants to go back on the agreement. That is her problem and not yours. You are entitled to the new tenancy and should not allow yourself to be browbeaten into moving out if you do not want to. It may well be that the landlord and/or agent are hoping you do not know the law, but you have now come onto this forum and are better informed.

                      To confirm the legal position:

                      You have a tenancy which expires on 15th July. Assuming there is no landlord's right to end the tenancy early and you pay the rent and perform your obligations, there is no doubt you are entitled to possession until the last moment of 15th July.

                      Signing a contract (not made by deed) for a tenancy for a term of three years or less does not on its own create a tenancy. The tenancy does not arise until the tenant is in possession. This means that the "new" tenancy does not exist yet. However, if there is no change of landlord and you are in possession at the first moment of 16th July the new tenancy will immediately begin. Once it has begun it binds a buyer.

                      If the landlord sells before 16th July the question arises whether the agreement for the new tenancy binds the buyer. That may turn on whether the buyer is deemed to have notice. If you register notice of the tenancy agreement as suggested in post 5 the buyer will be deemed to have notice and your interest will have priority over his. If that is not the case and the new tenancy does not kick in then, if the current tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy at the last moment of 15th July, a new statutory periodic tenancy will arise. The current tenancy will be an assured shorthold tenancy at the last moment of 15th July if the statutory conditions are met. The statutory conditions will be met if (a) at the last moment of 15th July at least one of the tenants being an individual occupies the property as his only or principal dwelling and (b) the tenancy is not such a tenancy as is set out here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga...dule/1/enacted

                      However, whilst the previous paragraph cannot be ignored, it is highly unlikely that any purchaser who wants vacant possession is going to buy while you are in occupation and/or with notice of the contract on the register. Further, if the owner sells and the buyer does not honour the new contract if he has no obligation to, the owner is going to be liable to you for damages for breach of contract. She will be very unwise to sell with vacant possession while you are in possession.

                      If you want to stay then make it clear you intend to stay and register the notice. If they make you a reasonable offer you can consider it. You must though proceed with caution. Any agreement and compensation must be properly documented. You must avoid moving out and taking on another place only for the landlord to argue that your tenancy has not ended. You do not want to be in a position where you have to pay rent for two properties. Equally, you do not want to be without any accommodation.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        At some point in the Conveyance the current owner should be asked if anyone over the age of 17yrs lives in the property. If so, that person is usually asked to sign an agreement to say they will leave the property. Without that signature I would imagine the buyer's solicitor will not allow completion - unless they want to honour the tenancy.

                        I imagine you could ask for almost anything for you to all sign that document - but don't sign unless you have a legal agreement or possession of the cash. Then also sign a Termination of Tenancy Deed so it is clear the tenancy has ended.

                        I would be looking for a payment of £1000 each - that should soften the blow of having to find a new house

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Dear All,
                          Thank you very much for your kind answers!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            How did it turn out in the end?
                            Assume I know nothing.

                            Comment

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