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Estate agent & Seller nightmare

(21 Posts)
MindfulBear Fri 13-Oct-17 08:29:17

Anyone on here bought a home and moved from renting.... how long did you have between exchange and completion. How long was your notice period nd when did you give notice?

Trying to buy a property. Made an offer late spring. Eventually accepted early summer.......no one else in the chain that we know of yet by early autumn Seller had not provided all the paperwork to our solicitor.

However all sorted now. We have released funds for the deposit but Seller is refusing to exchange because we need 6-8 weeks between exchange and completion as we are renting and have a 2 month notice period.

We have kids and both work full time outside the home. We can’t afford to have a 2 month overlap with both properties although a few weeks are fine. We can not afford to end up homeless so can’t give notice until exchange occurs. We have been open about this with the estate agent all along and now they are saying it is our fault if the purchase falls through after nearly 6 months!!!!

Aibu? I just don’t understand this. The seller should have been aware of our position from early on. I have no idea why they delayed sorting the paperwork for 4 months but The fact we could not complete for 6 - 8 weeks after exchange should not come as a surprise.

TBH I’m happy to walk away. The market isn’t moving very fast around here so I doubt they will complete with someone else before we can. Plus it’s not my forever home. It is just an investment and somewhere to live. However after 6 months and incurring solicitor, survey etc costs I am really irritated!!!

19lottie82 Fri 13-Oct-17 08:32:02

your LL can't enforce a 2 month notice period, no matter what your contact states. It's one calendar month (from the next rent date).

Witsender Fri 13-Oct-17 08:33:54

And you don't have to pay anything for the new house (bar the deposit obviously) until after completion, not exchange. So you wouldn't be paying monthly for both.

Witsender Fri 13-Oct-17 08:36:03

I completely misunderstood, sorry!

I would say that when in rented it is quite normal to have a slight overlap between rent and mortgage, I think we did for about a week or so. Simply because standard exchange to completion around here tends to be a week or two weeks and obviously notice period is a month.

I would get sorted with rental agent that you will be giving the statutory month's notice, and push for either a 2 or 4 wk exchange.

Papafran Fri 13-Oct-17 08:36:20

your LL can't enforce a 2 month notice period, no matter what your contact states. It's one calendar month (from the next rent date)

They can, lottie if it is a fixed term contract and has not gone over into a rolling tenancy. If it is fixed term (e.g. 6 months or 1 year), the notice period is whatever is in the tenancy if there is a break clause. If there is no break clause (again, they don't have to have one), you would technically be liable for the entire term (although the LL has a duty to mitigate loss by getting another tenant in). If the fixed term has expired and it is on a rolling tenancy, then it is one month, provided that rent is paid monthly.

Papafran Fri 13-Oct-17 08:42:18

This is what I did. I had a tenancy that had gone over on a rolling contract so I gave 1 month's notice on the date of exchange. Completion took place 8 days after exchange. I had an overlap of around 3 weeks (but rent is paid in advance, so that was fine). You should not give notice on your rental until you exchange because there is a very real risk that the transaction will fall through. You will also need to check when the first mortgage payment is due- mine fell due a few days after completion so would have been a struggle to pay rent at the same time. However, I then realised that I could have asked the bank to fix the payments to come out at the end of the month rather than the beginning.

It's annoying for you and the seller is an idiot for backing out. If you are upfront about it from the outset, it seems silly to complain so close to exchange.

When does your tenancy expire? I would ask the landlord if you can go onto a monthly rolling one when it does and that way you can complete in a faster timeframe. That's what I did.

19lottie82 Fri 13-Oct-17 08:43:11

papa no,they can't.
It doesn't matter what the LL puts in the lease, its 1 month.
The LL can put whatever they like in a contract, it doesn't mean it's enforceable.
If the OP would like confirmation on this, they can call shelter.

(The LL however, must give 2 months notice if they give notice to the tenant)

Papafran Fri 13-Oct-17 08:46:35

No lottie you are wrong on this one I am afraid. Here is a link to Shelter which explains the issue
england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/how_tenants_can_end_a_fixed_term_tenancy

As it states:

You can't end a fixed-term tenancy early unless your landlord agrees or there's a break clause in your agreement.

It is a bit confusing, but basically it is only when the fixed term has expired and it is a rolling tenancy that the 1 month notice period applies.

19lottie82 Fri 13-Oct-17 09:14:22

i think one of us is a bit confused here (most likely me!)

I know that break clauses aside a tenant can't give notice when in a contract (well they can but their exit date still can't be u til the last day of the tenancy)

When the are outwith the fixed term contract then it's a month (or a month before it ends)............ I'm not sure where you're getting 2 months from, and the OP hasn't mentioned being in a fixed term contract so I made the assumption she isn't, hence the 1 months notice, not 2?

londonrach Fri 13-Oct-17 09:20:08

Ll can lottie if on fixed contract. We had similar situation but a nice ll so told him what was happening kept him informed and he allowed us to break contract and leave 3 weeks later. If on a rolling contract its best as its just the one month.

Papafran Fri 13-Oct-17 09:28:18

When the are outwith the fixed term contract then it's a month (or a month before it ends)............ I'm not sure where you're getting 2 months from, and the OP hasn't mentioned being in a fixed term contract so I made the assumption she isn't, hence the 1 months notice, not 2?

I got 2 months from the OP. She said she was renting and had a 2 month notice period in the contract. That means she is within the fixed term because the rolling tenancy happens once the fixed term is up and is not renewed. Even though there is no written tenancy, the law will imply that it continues on the same terms, but on a monthly rolling basis (provided that rent is paid monthly). The 1 month notice that you refer to is the statutory notice period that applies to rolling or periodic tenancies. The reason they exist is to protect tenants where the parties do not renew the fixed term contract.

Where there is a fixed term (e.g. 6 months), notice will be governed by the tenancy contract. The contract does not have to have a break clause but it can be inserted and specify the notice period (in the OP's case 2 months).

You said that it is always 1 month and that it doesn't matter what the LL puts in the contract. That is not true and that was the bit I was correcting you on. It does matter what the LL puts in the contract but once the contract has expired, the statutory rules will kick in and it will be one month (equal to one months rental period).

peachgreen Fri 13-Oct-17 09:50:00

It's a difficult one because from the vendor's perspective, they have to live with the uncertainty (e.g. they're selling their house to you but what if their house purchase falls through?) whereas you're not willing to. In most circumstances you have to, and the period between exchange and completion is much shorter. So I can understand their frustration - although given you've been upfront from the beginning it's very silly of them to raise it now!

Our exchange and completion essentially happened on the same day (seems to happen a lot in NI?) so we had no guarantees whatsoever. So our choice was to suck it up and overlap, or take the risk. It's a pain - BUT it's the only time you ever get the chance to have an overlap which has been quite nice!

Personally I'd see what you can negotiate with your LL but if you're willing to walk away, then threaten to. It's more of a loss to them than to you, given you're not particularly invested in the house - their purchase will fall through too!

HarmlessChap Fri 13-Oct-17 13:53:47

Typically its only a week or two from exchange to completion so I can see the seller's issue but once it has echanged they have the security that its legally binding. If the seller refuses to exchane on that time scale then good luck having everything go through quicker with someone else!

MindfulBear Fri 13-Oct-17 18:39:55

Yes we are on fixed term contract.

The seller is not purchasing another property. They both have a property each already.

It’s all very odd. I suspect they gave notice to their tenants without considering the consequences

It’s also possible they accepted our offer and were not made aware of our time requirements. Saying that they accepted the offer but it was 14 weeks later when they provided the final paperwork to our solicitor

I’m guessing there is more going on here than we are aware of.

Or they think they can mess us about and ignore our timeline requirements.

Maelstrop Fri 13-Oct-17 19:05:37

I'd say your solicitors are lax. I've been helped far more by the estate agent than the solicitor (completed yesterday) having put the offer in back in June. Talk to your agent, if they're anything like mine, they'll move heaven and earth to help.

fiorentina Fri 13-Oct-17 19:11:53

We had a month between exchange and completion, not our choice but not an issue. If they won't compromise you will have to suck it up and pay both for a few weeks or risk losing the house and paying for conveyancing again on a new property, probably not a dissimilar amount?

MindfulBear Mon 16-Oct-17 00:17:20

Cash flow is the issue! And in a falling market..... bearing in mind properties come on the market and stay on for ages I think the seller would be nuts to throw away the sale. We can walk away. They have been such a shit show that it is leaving us with a bad feeling about the property anyway!

FoxyRoxy Mon 16-Oct-17 00:33:19

Our rental agreement ended the day before we exchanged and completed (had already given LL 1 month notice as per agreement) so had to ask very nicely from the LL can we stay another month. We exchanged and completed on the same day so I'm not sure why your seller wants 8 weeks between? The norm is 7 days afaik. If you are still within your rental agreement the notice period will be set out in your contract.

CotswoldStrife Mon 16-Oct-17 00:41:36

We sold a property and our buyers buyers were renting so we had a month between exchange and completion. We knew about the renters down the chain so were expecting a gap, but 8 weeks is a bit long - can you ask your landlord for a shorter time?

We were happy to exchange though, because it meant our buyers couldn't back out after that point (even though it was their buyer who was renting).

GrockleBocs Mon 16-Oct-17 00:43:11

Could you afford to have a 1 month overlap and a 4 week gap between exchange and completion?
If they aren't reliant on the sale then you are in the weaker position, but if you're ready to exchange, it will take them longer to go back to market than it will to wait 2 months for you.
If you're prepared to walk away then I'd stick to your guns. 8 weeks or you walk away.

RedastheRose Tue 17-Oct-17 00:31:47

If you mean it then play hardball. Tell the agents and your solicitor that unless they agree to the two months between exchange and completion and exchange takes place this week you are walking away. If, as you say, it is a falling market then they will probably comply, but you have to be willing to be as good as your word.

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