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tonireid

Sitting Tenants?

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does anyone know any information re Sitting tenants? we have lived rent free an have never signed anything for the past 3 years and 6 months. my dad owns the house and is going bankrupt. where do we stand? thanks in avance for any replies.

Edited by tonireid

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A 'sitting tenant' is someone who has been renting their home since before the 1988 Housing Act brought in ASTs (the current legal form of residential rental contract), and are still covered by the 1965 Rent Act. They enjoy vastly superior legal rights than post-1988 AST tenants. One of them is that they cannot be evicted at all unless they stop paying rent or carry out (or allow to be carried out) serious criminal activity in the property. That's the reason you occasionally see houses and flats for sale at an insanely low price (usually around half the going rate for a comparable property): they have a sitting tenant in them, which means that until that tenant decides to move on, there is no way you can remove them, even if you want to live in the place yourself. This is one of the reasons the 1988 Act was brought in - the sitting tenancies rule made BTL-ing so unattractive that there was a very serious shortage of private rented properties by the mid-80s.

It gets better (or worse, depending on whether you're the tenant or the LL). In some circumstances, a sitting tenant can leave the tenancy to their children in their will, meaning that even if the tenant pops his clogs the LL cannot re-occupy the property. And rent rises are capped in ways that they're not in ASTs.

One of the other flats in my building is rented by someone in his 90s who has been there for nearly 30 years. His health is now so bad that he really shouldn't be living on his own any more. Apart from anything else, the noise and disruption from the constant visits from his children and grandchildren drive the rest of us nuts. We strongly suspect that the reason he is still there is that he has a sitting tenancy, in a lovely flat in a National Trust building in a good part of town, and is paying a fraction of what such a place would cost on an AST on the open market. We suspect, therefore, that his kids are determined to keep him there until he kicks the bucket, in order that they can inherit the tenancy and sub-let the place.

Edited by The Ayatollah Bugheri

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A 'sitting tenant' is someone who has been renting their home since before the 1988 Housing Act brought in ASTs (the current legal form of residential rental contract), and are still covered by the 1965 Rent Act.

No. A sitting tenant is any tenant who continues in occupation when the ownership of a property changes.

Rent Act tenants are automatically sitting tenants when the ownership changes. Hence your confusion.

Rent Act 1977 superseded the 1965 Act.

One of the other flats in my building is rented by someone in his 90s who has been there for nearly 30 years.... We suspect, therefore, that his kids are determined to keep him there until he kicks the bucket, in order that they can inherit the tenancy and sub-let the place.

No. You can only succeed to the tenancy if you live there and have done so prior to the succession event. And you certainly cannot sublet a property rented under the Rent Acts.

Any more nonsense you fancy posting?

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Common Law Tenancy. You have no security whatsoever.

Start making arrangements for alternative accomodation.

Edited by Planner

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No. You can only succeed to the tenancy if you live there and have done so prior to the succession event. And you certainly cannot sublet a property rented under the Rent Acts.

I'd put money on the family not knowing this and wanting to try it.

tim

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Or stuffing the loved one and sticking him in an arm chair when he passes away. Plus - who is going to prove they weren't living there?

Anybody who's capable of reading the electoral register

tim

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"Sitting tenant" is not a term of art, that is it has no special legal meaning. It can mean a tenant who is in actual occupation, as opposed to a mesne tenant, i.e. one who has sublet. More usually perhaps, it refers to a tenant who enjoys a statutory right to remain in occupation.

In a family situation it is not always easy to tell if there is any sort of tenancy at all. It may come down to whether or not there was an intention to create legal relations.

Tenancy or not, your position does not look strong I am afraid. Any attempt by your father to improve your position by granting you some sort of a tenancy may be unravelled on the grounds that it was intended to defraud creditors. Further, if the property is mortgaged and the consent of the lender is not obtained the tenancy will not be good against the lender. (That does not apply if the mortgage does not require the lender's consent to let.)

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Tenancy or not, your position does not look strong I am afraid.

This will depend entirely upon whether they are dependant on the father (not withstanding the fact that he is broke) living with him in his house, or are separately living their own life, in a 2nd property owned by the father.

The OP hasn't made this clear.

tim

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