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denny

Buying Out A Sitting Tenancy

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Hello everyone!

I am a protected tenant (with a fair rent, so I am sure about my tenancy) aged 48 with no dependents.

My landlord is selling the entire portfolio of flats in the house he inherited from his mother about 12 years ago. If he can't sell the entire porfolio he is going to sell each flat separately - freehold.

This causes me some concerns because:

(a) Each flat is in fairly close proximity to the next (it used to be a house of multiple occupancy but the landlord converted the house to self-contained flats - including mine (except for my rented bathroom which is separate).

(B) If he does sell each flat separately, how does this affect me? Who will be responsible for the communal areas and exterior of the house, which is landlord's separate responsibility. If he still keeps my flat on, as my landlord, he won't upgrade other flats whose deterioration may impact on mine.

© What if the new flat purchasers are rowdy and unsocial? The landlord won't intervene. The house is very quiet at the moment - which is nice - but that's no guarantee that the new owner occupants or new tenanted occupants will be (if they each have separate landlords) particularly if they can't be evicted. I have fairly good noise insulation in my flat, but very loud music and people jumping up and down on the ceiling from the flat above will be highly disruptive to my life - particuarly as I live in a studio flat concentrated in one area of the house.

(d) The landlord has also made some noises about selling me the flat too. This seems an attractive proposition if I can raise the cash to do it. It also means that I will purchase instant equity worth several thousands of pounds over the sale price to me, if I then decide to resell. On the other hand, I am worried that I won't get JSA or means tested benefits, should I ever need them, if I own a property instead of renting it. As a sitting tenant, I don't have to worry about this. I also don't have a stable job. I work for myself - so my lifestyle tends to be based around my security of tenure and my income fluctuates from making ends meet, to very high fees. At the moment my savings are lowish and JSA is beckoning if the economy doesn't buck up soon. I am also finding it harder to find new contracted work, owing to age discrimination (I specialise in a young person's field and most people of my age group are in senior permanent jobs, not contracting as a freelancer).

I did give a proposal to the landlord to transfer the flat to me for £0K in return for buying it back at the market rate, over the next few years, if I could afford to (it means he doesn't lose out by selling it to another without vacant possession for a reduced price). Failing that, to then leave it to his family in my will. I have no dependents and don't intend to have any. Unfortuantely, he turned this idea down because he needs the re-sale cash now - either as cash raised from the entire porfolio to one purchaser or cash raised off the back of separate flat owners.

If he were to sell my rented flat to me, what would be a reasonable sum to ask for with a sitting tenant - given all the issues I've raised above. It's been valued at market price at around £115K (without a sitting tenant). I am still considering this an option. At least I could rent it out or sell it if the other flat purchasers are hell to live next door to.

Sorry this post is so long - help would be warmly appreciately from those knowledgable enough about housing law involving sitting tenants.

Many thanks

Edited by denny

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Hello everyone!

I am a protected tenant (with a fair rent, so I am sure about my tenancy) aged 48 with no dependents....

...Many thanks

Hi,

I strongly advise that you speak to a solicitor as this is not a simple situation. However, this is my take on how it might work.

If he sells the flats individually "with freehold", there will need to be a single freehold for the building, with each flat leasing from the freeholder under terms specified in a lease for each that would need to drawn up. The usual arrangement would be for the leaseholders to each have a share of the freehold, and be jointly responsible for decisions on maintenance, buildings insurance etc which are always the responsibility of the freeholder, with the costs passed on equally to the leasholders (i.e. themselves)

If you were to buy your flat, you would become a leaseholder (and part freeholder) so would be jointly responsible for maintenance, including costs and decisions as to what maintenance should be carried out.. Also you would be expected to get a direct say in any problems with tenant in the building - either the flat owners or anyone they sublet to.

If you choose not to buy your flat, I don't think that your protected tenancy can be affected, so whoever buys your flat would become your landlord until such time as you ended the tenancy. They would be answerable to the "freeholder" (i.e. the owners of the other flats) in the event of any problems with your tenancy, as would the other flat owners if they sublet to problem tenants. I'm not entirely sure whether this is the case (anyone know for sure?) but I would expect the lease for (the new owner of) your flat to refer to your protected tenancy, and to provide you with the same protections you have at present.

As I say, you should definitely speak to a solicitor before making a decision on purchasing, as you are in a unusual and (I believe) strong legal position and he/she will be able to explain your options. Also, if you have a solicitor on hand, he/she should be able to ensure that if you don't buy, your interests as a protected tenant will not compromised by any new documents drawn up by your current landlord if he starts messing about with ownership of the building

Good luck!

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On the other hand, I am worried that I won't get JSA or means tested benefits, should I ever need them, if I own a property instead of renting it.

For JSA( and all other benefits) , the capital value of your main residence is ignored.

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Hello everyone!

I am a protected tenant (with a fair rent, so I am sure about my tenancy) aged 48 with no dependents.

My landlord is selling the entire portfolio of flats in the house he inherited from his mother about 12 years ago. If he can't sell the entire porfolio he is going to sell each flat separately - freehold.

This causes me some concerns because:

(a) Each flat is in fairly close proximity to the next (it used to be a house of multiple occupancy but the landlord converted the house to self-contained flats - including mine (except for my rented bathroom which is separate).

(B) If he does sell each flat separately, how does this affect me? Who will be responsible for the communal areas and exterior of the house, which is landlord's separate responsibility. If he still keeps my flat on, as my landlord, he won't upgrade other flats whose deterioration may impact on mine.

© What if the new flat purchasers are rowdy and unsocial? The landlord won't intervene. The house is very quiet at the moment - which is nice - but that's no guarantee that the new owner occupants or new tenanted occupants will be (if they each have separate landlords) particularly if they can't be evicted. I have fairly good noise insulation in my flat, but very loud music and people jumping up and down on the ceiling from the flat above will be highly disruptive to my life - particuarly as I live in a studio flat concentrated in one area of the house.

(d) The landlord has also made some noises about selling me the flat too. This seems an attractive proposition if I can raise the cash to do it. It also means that I will purchase instant equity worth several thousands of pounds over the sale price to me, if I then decide to resell. On the other hand, I am worried that I won't get JSA or means tested benefits, should I ever need them, if I own a property instead of renting it. As a sitting tenant, I don't have to worry about this. I also don't have a stable job. I work for myself - so my lifestyle tends to be based around my security of tenure and my income fluctuates from making ends meet, to very high fees. At the moment my savings are lowish and JSA is beckoning if the economy doesn't buck up soon. I am also finding it harder to find new contracted work, owing to age discrimination (I specialise in a young person's field and most people of my age group are in senior permanent jobs, not contracting as a freelancer).

I did give a proposal to the landlord to transfer the flat to me for £0K in return for buying it back at the market rate, over the next few years, if I could afford to (it means he doesn't lose out by selling it to another without vacant possession for a reduced price). Failing that, to then leave it to his family in my will. I have no dependents and don't intend to have any. Unfortuantely, he turned this idea down because he needs the re-sale cash now - either as cash raised from the entire porfolio to one purchaser or cash raised off the back of separate flat owners.

If he were to sell my rented flat to me, what would be a reasonable sum to ask for with a sitting tenant - given all the issues I've raised above. It's been valued at market price at around £115K (without a sitting tenant). I am still considering this an option. At least I could rent it out or sell it if the other flat purchasers are hell to live next door to.

Sorry this post is so long - help would be warmly appreciately from those knowledgable enough about housing law involving sitting tenants.

Many thanks

I have been out the game for over 10 years, so you do need a solicitor to guide you along the way. It used to be the landlord by law had to give you 30 days notice he was selling to give you the opportunity to buy. It used to be 10 years ago the properties value was 70% of the vacant value with a sitting tenant. 20 years ago the value was only 35%.

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Assuming the freehold property is registered:

Your tenancy and occupation of the property form an overriding interest that bind any purchaser of your flat. Sch 3 Land Registration Act 2002

I also think that it is worth getting specialist advice; you may be able to protect yourself more by registering a notice against the freehold estate.

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Thank you to everyone who responded - your information was very useful.

I shall make an appointment to see my solicitor to help me weight up the options.

Denny

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For JSA( and all other benefits) , the capital value of your main residence is ignored.

But you get housing benefit to cover rent a lot easier than to cover mortgage payments.

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