Any landlord selling a London house with tenants needs to be aware of a few basic questions. What are the main legal considerations to take into account? Are there any documents necessary to begin the process? So let’s break these categories down into a bit more detail.
We’ll assume you have a valid tenancy agreement with the tenants. If so, the first thing to address is whether or not the current agreement stipulates that you have to right to show potential buyers around the home while it is still occupied by tenants. Keep in mind that this is not an implied right. If this is not specified in the contract, you will need to wait for them to leave at the end of the tenancy in order to have what is known as vacant possession before the house is placed on the market. If your agreement does allow you access the property with prospective buyers then you should let the tenant know that you intend to sell the property and when you would like them to leave.
Secondly, we should address the concept of assured shorthold tenancy. This is common in most landlord-tenant agreements. This agreement states that at least two months of notice must be given to the tenant before he or she is required to vacate the premises. If your tenants refuse to leave at the end of the shorthold tenancy then things can get tricky. You will probably need to start eviction procedures. Assuming that you have a valid shorthold tenancy in place and that all other documents are present, you can begin a procedure known as “accelerated possession”. However, keep in mind that it will still likely be up to six weeks before the hearing takes place. Even after this, it is not uncommon for the courts to delay the possession for an additional month. In other words, be aware that the process can be a bit long and drawn out.
It is not uncommon for someone to inherit a London property that already has a sitting tenant on the premises. In this case, there are generally two options. The first (and most obvious) is to try to negotiate with the individual. The first outcome is that you and the tenant may be able to come to some form of tenancy agreement as opposed to an outright sale. At the very least, this can guarantee steady monthly income. If you need to sell the property and the tenant refuses to leave, or sign a tenancy agreement, it is best to contact a solicitor to review your options.
General Guidelines for a Landlord Selling a London House with Tenants
The most useful tip is to be courteous to the tenant. Always remember that keeping them informed is the best way to avoid any potential issues. If possible, try to extend the eviction time frame. A bit of flexibility can go a long way. There can even be times when you help them to find a subsequent rental property. Such an offer can help to avoid any lengthy and drawn-out legal battles.
Selling a London house with tenants can be a bit tricky. If approached in the correct manner, the overall process can be streamlined. The end result is that all parties involved will be pleased.