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Do my tenants need formal two months notice when the house goes on the market?

(38 Posts)
katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 09:00:31

My tenants have lived in the house for twenty months and I am going to be selling; they know this.

However I am very conscious the house may not sell immediately.

Do I need to provide formal two months notice for them, and if i do, do they actually need to move out at that point?

It seems more sensible to wait until there is an offer and then give them two months notice as house sales generally take around 8 weeks anyway IME.

mysteryfairy Sun 24-Apr-16 09:26:31

You won't be able to sell the house without vacant possession. Your tenants may not leave in accordance with the notice you give them e.g. they may be advised to wait until evicted if they face homelessness.

Your tenants may not consent to or facilitate viewings.

It depends on the particular circumstances of the tenants what the best thing to do is and even then be aware they may not behave as they say they are going to.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 09:41:54

They will leave within the notice and allow viewings - that's not a problem.

So it needs to be empty before viewings? confused That doesn't seem right?

21stCenturyBreakdown Sun 24-Apr-16 09:52:05

We bought a house from a landlord who was selling up. At the time we viewed, the tenants were in situ and hadn't been served notice - that happened while the sale was progressing, but under the advice of our conveyancers we didn't exhange until the tenants had left and we'd visited the property ourselves to confirm that and that the condition hadn't changed since we originally viewed it.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 09:53:34

Thank you.

So it is possible to put the house on the market before issuing two months notice, then? smile

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sun 24-Apr-16 09:54:33

Yes, it needs to be empty before viewings. Not fair on the tenants to have strangers walking around their private stuff.

Or offer 50% off the rent if they allow viewings.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 09:57:25

It does not need to be empty before viewings, King

I don't wish to sound sharp but flinging around opinions as if they are facts isn't on.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Sun 24-Apr-16 09:59:30

As a buyer, why would you start the process of buying a house with tenants in situ who may not vacate at the end of the notice period?
You might trust your tenants but a buyer won't know them from Adam. A buyer will want to know that the process will go through as quickly as possible and that the house will be vacant on completion.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Sun 24-Apr-16 10:00:11

And your tenants could easily refuse viewings. If you have a good relationship with them they probably won't but they could.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sun 24-Apr-16 10:05:47

Er, it is a fact, not an an opinion.

Tenants are entitled to 'quiet enjoyment' of the property. Having strangers coming in and out at minimal notice goes against that.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 10:08:24

Yes, but that does not mean that viewings will never be permitted or accepted. That side of things has already been sorted in any case. What I was wondering was when I should issue the formal 2 months notice.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sun 24-Apr-16 10:09:26

The landlord cannot insist on viewings if the tenants disagree.
But is the tenants agree, there can be viewings.
You need to agree guidelines for viewings, like notice given and times not availble for viewings. EG if the tenants have young children they might not agree to viewings after 6pm as it's bath and bed time

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 10:10:48

Yes; thank you, but as I've said, that side of things is sorted and is not why I started the thread.

Kidnapped Sun 24-Apr-16 10:11:04

Also, potential buyers will be put off by the fact that there are tenants in place. All the "Oh, they're definitely leaving" assurances in the world don't mean a thing.

They'd be worried that the tenants won't leave at the end of the notice period (many councils advise tenants who want council housing to stay put until they are formally evicted which can take many months).

Are the tenants currently on a periodic tenancy?

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Sun 24-Apr-16 10:11:13

A family member is selling his property with the tenets still in ie to another landlord, apparently there's quite a market for this

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 10:13:45

That was what I wondered, Kidnapped, but at the same time it could take months to sell and seems silly to have it empty in that time, as well as stressful for the tenants.

Queenbean Sun 24-Apr-16 10:15:51

You CAN put the property on the market with tenants still in there. My last rental home was being sold and friends of mine are just going through it now. We, of course, consented to viewings and I think there was something in the contract that mentioned it - do you know what your contract says?

For us, we were moving out anyway so gave notice and the landlord put the house on the market at the same time. There were only about 3 viewings before it was sold and these were all when we were out anyway so we didn't actually notice.

I'd check your contract first and see if it mentions anything, but giving notice and putting it on the market at the same time seems like good timing.!

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 10:18:35

Thank you very much Queen

I'll give them notice but if (say) we don't get any offers and if they are struggling to find somewhere else or if it becomes available later is there some room for flexibility?

I was thinking of giving formal 2 months notice on May 1.

But then if they find a new house but can't move in until August 1 and I haven't got a buyer, it makes sense really for them to stay put.

GreenMarkerPen Sun 24-Apr-16 10:20:36

I'd check your contract first and see if it mentions anything

it doesn't matter if the contract mentions anything about viewings. if they don't want to let anyone into their home, they don't have to. unless it's an emergency (as in blue lights), which a viewing never is.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 10:21:14

This has already been sorted and is not why I started the thread.

Thank you.

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Sun 24-Apr-16 10:21:48

When one of our landlords told us they wanted to put the house on the market, we simply gave them our one month notice and found somewhere else to rent. We didn't want the insecurity nor were we willing to facilitate viewings for someone else. So we found a (nicer) house to rent.

So you might find that your tenants aren't willing to wait around for you to sell and give them notice. They might just decide to take control of the situation for themselves.

Queenbean Sun 24-Apr-16 10:23:21

Well what sort of contract are they on now? At my last rental place, it was a years fixed and after that moved to a rolling contract. If that's the case with your tentants, perhaps you could have a chat to them to let them know that it will be the same - property on the market, rolling contract so notice may be issued any time, but 2 months notice will be given. They may be ok with it or may ask for a reduction in rent (which is what I'd do if i were them!)

I'd also make the buyers aware that they will have limited viewings while tenants are in situ and unlimited viewings once they're gone - ie to measure up for furniture etc. I think this is pretty normal too.

The only problem you may have is if it's council tentants, as above they can be very difficult to give notice to and you may have to evict them. What sort of property and tentants is it you have?

Kidnapped Sun 24-Apr-16 10:24:03

I get what you mean, OP.

I'd talk to the tenants about what could work for both parties. Can you agree a slight rent reduction if they agree to accommodate viewings? You are right abut the stress and if you can avoid any bad feeling then that would be for the best. Particularly since you don't want them to trash the house. smile

If they are on a periodic tenancy then they only need to give you one month's notice if they have found something else. If you are flexible with them then you can agree with them that they have the house until, say, the end of July then that gives them loads of time to get somewhere else. If they find somewhere quicker than that then great.

Talk to them first.

NoelHeadbands Sun 24-Apr-16 10:24:17

Tenants in situ will put many buyers off so be prepared for that

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 10:26:41

Guys, honestly, I didn't start the thread for a lecture about viewings sad we've already sorted this.

I just wanted to know when I should issue two months notice!

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