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The house I want to buy has new tenants and my lawyer says don't buy

(13 Posts)
JustLetMeBuyIt Wed 10-Nov-10 12:28:13

Hi am a name-changing regular.

We have an offer on a house, with the understanding that as soon as we got an offer on our flat, we could both start the selling buying process.

This weekend we accepted an offer, we re-iterated the offer on the house we want to buy. We were told the Landlord has literally (2 days before) put in a new tenant with a six month contract.

We were willing to go ahead with the surveys and contract, and just have a long exchange period, but our lawyer has just told as not to do it as if the tenants don't want to move out we would have to go to court to get vacant posession. Are there any lawyers out there who know how to solve this issue?


Decorhate Wed 10-Nov-10 13:04:40

Tbh it sounds like the seller is not serious about selling it if s/he was actively looking to rent it at the same time. I would not waste time & money on surveys as there is no guarantee they will go ahead in 6 months.

In this market there should be plenty of other houses available...

MyCatJeremy Wed 10-Nov-10 13:05:56

I work in social housing but the same applies. If a person does not leave after being given appropriate notice then you need to go via court to get a possession order, also remember that it is not guaranteed that you will get a possession order. You need to show that all paperwork is in order (notice, lease agreement, intention to go to court), the tenant's circumstances will also be considered (ie if the tennant has always paid, is seeking other housing but not yet found anything, has a baby etc). If and when you have a possession order you then have to deal with the eviction process, not easy and then the house could be a shithole.

Why would you want to deal with that? Not fair on you or the poor tennant who is unlikely to have taken on the property if they knew that their home is being sold. It is complicated, which is a good thing IMO as it gives tenants some protection.

Isn't the usual thing to buy a house with vacant possession.

JustLetMeBuyIt Wed 10-Nov-10 14:52:45

Thank you for your advice!

The thing is we made an offer before we had an offer on our place, so they said they'd just rent it out until we had an offer. We called them as soon as we did and they had just re-rented it (presumably because they thought it would take us a bit longer/they wanted to give us a bit longer).

The tenant has literally just moved in, and yes it is a bit unfair on them as they should have been told, but we did have our acceptance of offer letter before they even moved in!

I don't know what to do!

nameymcnamechange Wed 10-Nov-10 14:54:38

Can you wait 6 months til the end of the tenancy? Presumably it is an AST?

JustLetMeBuyIt Wed 10-Nov-10 14:58:38


Yes we can - sell our place, move out, rent..

the choice is whether to:

exchange contracts and then wait

or not buy at all then try and buy it then.

My worry is if we don't get it and then we have to start from scratch in 6 months having wasted all that rent. Really like it though sad

nameymcnamechange Wed 10-Nov-10 15:06:58

Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

You need to find out from the vendors or their agents about the expectations of their tenants. Maybe the tenants only want the place for 6 months? Were they aware there was an offer on the house when they moved in?

JustLetMeBuyIt Wed 10-Nov-10 16:04:36

No they don't know - I wasn't allowed a second viewing when I wanted to instruct my solicitor to begin the buying process! It's all very odd. Yes, am trying to get info and a copy of their agreement off the agency.

Have started googling new houses now!

lalalonglegs Wed 10-Nov-10 18:19:16

Regardless of the legalities of getting a tenant out, I think the seller would muck you around endlessly anyway so it's just time to walk away before you lose money. No reasonable person would (a) rent it out to a new tenant without informing their buyer first (b) rent to a new tenant without letting them know that the house was being sold.

Take the offer on your house and find somewhere else to buy.

Blu Wed 10-Nov-10 18:31:23

I would be surprised if the mortgage company would allow you to exchange while there are tennants in, because of the potential trouble if they didn't leave as agreed by completion date.

In your situation I would start looking for other houses immediately - you are a good bet as a buyer now as you have an offer - but tell the EA of the first house that if the tennancy comes to an end by whatever means and the house is vacant you will happily go back for a second viewing and re-make your offer.

I definitely wouldn't sell, rent and wait on a tennancy, anything could happen!

JustLetMeBuyIt Wed 10-Nov-10 19:00:59

Thanks for the advice. You are right of course. We are mad. Food for thought. Very small catchment area.. very few houses. Hmm. Am looking though smile.

elvislives Wed 10-Nov-10 19:22:45

We enquired about a house that turned out to have tenants in. The vendor wouldn't give them notice until we'd exchanged, and obviously there is no guarantee they'd then go. We walked away.

JustLetMeBuyIt Wed 10-Nov-10 19:50:35

ooh Elvis. That does sound nasty. I'm going to have a word with the EA tomorrow and see what they propose given that the solicitor is warning us off.

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