Many landlords and investors confuse a Regulated and a Sitting with a tenant on an AST. To find out more about the definition of a sitting or regulated tenant then please read the information definition of Sitting Tenant to get a better idea of what you are dealing with.
If want to sell a property with a Sitting tenant there are a number of problems you will have to overcome before you even consider selling your property. A genuine regulated sitting tenant is one that has been in the property for many years without a tenancy agreement. This could be a very difficult situation as the process to evict can be extremely long, extremely costly, and more than often a very ‘big headache’.
If you have inherited a property and is occupied, and happily pays rent, but will not sign an agreement then it may be worthwhile trying to negotiate with them. If they want to remain in the property and are happy to pay rent then taking that step to enter into a tenancy agreement really isn’t such a jump. Many cash property buying companies, like ourselves, are happy to take on a property that has a guaranteed rental income per month.
Landlords and Tenants Eviction Rights When Selling Tenanted Houses.
It is a highly charged situation when a landlord is owed rent or he/she wants their property back and even more explosive when you have a tenant who is represented by a solicitor.
Under the Protection of Eviction Act 1977 – the landlord may have been deemed to cause harassment if they
Interfere with the peace or comfort of the resident or members of the household. However, Sitting Tenants have greater rights.
The landlord withholds services required by the resident at the household
So as a Landlord do not:
- Change the locks
- Board any entrances
- Board any windows
- Stop utilities like electricity and water to the property
- Enter the building without notice
- Get verbally or physically abusive with the tenant
- Throw them out physically
This is inevitably jeopardise the time taken to remove the tenant and it is a criminal conviction if you remove a tenant without a court order.
There are some routes to resolving the situation.
Negotiate with the tenant
Approach with reason, tell them how you feel, and find out what the real issues are. If the situation is acrimonious then use a third a party. Use a third party that has a good idea of what to do and a history of resolving landlord/tenant problems. They charge significantly less than solicitors. Complete the form here and someone will call you from our office.
You can remove the tenant yourself – If you are not using an agent.
There are plenty of instructions on the internet of how to legally remove a tenant, but invariably administrative errors show up at a court hearing and the judge will ask to reschedule the hearing at extra cost and also loss of rental.
The tenant on the day of hearing may have legal representation and argue that there are maintenance issues at the property, and that’s why the rent has not been paid. So it’s always a good idea to have a third party, such as a letting agent, visit the property and take pictures.
Many landlords fail to issue notices correctly before issuing proceedings and ensure the service with the correct form of notice on the tenant.
Use a Solicitor to help you to evict the tenant.
This is probably the best way of ensuring you take possession but ensure they specialise in property evictions. Many solicitors charge ‘an arm and a leg’ for their services. They do sometimes get it wrong.
Sell House with Sitting Tenants
If it all gets too much for you – then simply sell the property with the problem tenants. We will simply take over the existing tenancy and buy the property with the tenant in situ.
Our process is simple and we give a non-refundable deposit on exchange and complete it quickly so that you can get on with your life.
Recently sent in questions asked about selling a property with sitting tenants:
- Can I sell a house with a sitting tenant?
- Can I sell a home with tenants that have been on the property for ten years?
- Can I sell your house if you have a tenant for less than 6 months?
- Can I sell a property with a tenant to a new landlord?
- Can I ask my tenant to leave?
In order to sell a property that is tenanted the landlord/vendor does not have any ground for possession in the legislation on the basis of ‘I am selling the property you have to leave’.
The only way to do this is eviction through Section 21.
- How much notice do you have to give a tenant to move out?
Normally you have to give the tenant notice this is typically done through Section 21. On a standard assured shorted tenancy agreement the tenant to vacate the property 28 days after receiving the notice.
Selling a property within the period of a tenancy can only be repossessed if the tenant is two months in arrears. If not then you have to wait for the tenancy to expire and give notice.
Please note that those referred to as ‘Sitting Tenants’ cannot be evicted.
- Can a landlord show the home while a tenant still lives there?
The landlord has the right to show the property to potential buyers – but only during normal business hours. The landlord has to give 24 hours’ notice in writing before entering the property.
However, if it clearly stipulates in the tenancy agreement can show the property around on weekends at reasonable times, then with consideration, viewings can be done.