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Superted187

Rented Flat Being Sold - Opportunity To Get Money Off?

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Hi Team,

My landlord has contacted me to say that the flat that I live in is being sold.

I am currently on a year long AST that will end in August, but I had planned on letting the tenancy agreement fall into a rolling tenancy.

The landlord has stated that they are trying to sell it to another investor, but the reality is they will sell it to whoever offers the most money, especially as Zoopla estimates that they will take a £10k haircut on the sale of the flat.

With that in mind, I was looking for some reasonable suggestions on how I might be able to use this situation to get some money off the rent, or to use the situation to my advantage. She's already stated that it's likely that people will come around to view the flat etc, which I'm obviously not keen on.

My relationship with the LL is ok. Outstanding gripes with the LL that I have are:

1. The flat was not clean when we moved in

2. The LL has never provided us with an inventory, despite being reminded.

I understand that my rights as a tenant are not affected by this, but would like to here some wise HPC words on the subject. Any anecdotals / experiences would also be great to hear.

Cheers!

Edited by Superted187

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My experience was that my old LL wanted to be able to show prospective purchasers around, and at the same time for all rent to be paid as before. It led to an awful tussle of wills.

Your LL may be the same or they could be willing to negotiate. The idea is that you could if you wanted make things hard for the LL or the EA to show people around by either refusing to co-operate with viewings or making the place a pigsty. You can also scare the new owner into thinking that it will take a court order to get you out at the end when the sale goes through.

Obviously you are a reasonable person....

Some tenants find that they can come to an agreement with the LL to allow viewings at agreed times/days in return for reduced rent. This is to compensate you for loss of your "quiet enjoyment". Some LL's are fine with this.

My personal experience was that both my LL and the various EA's didn't respect my right to quiet enjoyment. Didn't try to negotiate a rent decrease in return (as LL put barriers to contact up quickly and hide behind an offshore company) but my offer to allow viewings on a set day each week was abused and the EA's just let themselves into my flat during the day when they thought I was at work. This was not known to me until I was home sick on day and the EA just let himself and a client in with no warning.

Edited by Flopsy

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My personal experience was that both my LL and the various EA's didn't respect my right to quiet enjoyment. Didn't try to negotiate a rent decrease but my offer to allow viewings on a set day each week was abused and the EA's just let themselves into my flat during the day when they thought I was at work.

Yes you have to assume they will do this. They are complete slime and when faced with a potential few k walking through the door wanting to do a viewing right now they will just go and do it.

I would offer a much reduced rent, like 50% off or whatever it is worth to you, and arrange a set day per week when viewings can take place. You have to assume they would abuse that but its worth the conversation at least just in case.

If they aren't interested in taking half the rent or whatever significant reduction you feel is appropriate I would leave. The alternative is the hassle of viewings im afraid, to me personally that is something I will only put up with if the rent is much reduced. I view that as my fee for attending viewings. If they disagree with my valuation of my time Im gone. Ive done it a couple of times, each time reduced rent was refused so I left. Not even a negotiation, just refused. None of them are business people.

I checked how the properties were doing occasionally after, needless to say they didn't sell for at least 6 months when I stopped checking. You can't negotiate with irrational people and chances are if they're a landlord or estate agent they are irrational. Worth a shot, but I'd be looking elsewhere.

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Thanks for the tips and the stories guys.

For a starter, I will not be doing any cleaning / tidying on the account of some prospective buyers coming over. I will not be putting myself out in anyway.

I'll gauge how many people we have coming to have a look around over the next month or so. As soon as the tenancy falls into a periodic ast I'll ask for a significant rental discount or will threaten moving.

I'm a reasonable person, but you've got to play the game. Otherwise I'll be left penniless and homeless.

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I would adorn the flat with a few large posters of the Class War/Human Rights/Shelter/Che/Fight 'em on the Streets variety. Anything that indicates to buyers that you are rather volatile, well-informed and won't be going quietly...

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The OP says: "I had planned on letting the tenancy agreement fall into a rolling tenancy".

I cannot help feeling that some of the above advice if acted upon will encourage any new landlord to serve a section 21 notice.

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understand your thinking. However the situation is that

1. the flat will require some money spent on it in order for it to be let again (painting throughout at least, new flooring and carpets possibly)

2. Rents have taken a dip in my area. Our flat would be lucky to get £75 a month less than what we pay.

But that is the logical approach. We all know that some of these landlords haven't got a flipping clue and go for status over money

Edited by Superted187

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Thought I'd give you guys an update.

So in over a month our flat has only had 1 viewing. It looks like that whilst the papers are talking up house prices a lot at the moment, the situation on the ground is very different. There just aren't any first time buyers in our area, and they would be the target buyers of our flat.

Some more background I found after doing some research:

Our flat is owned by a company. The company also owns one other new built flat in a nearby city. The company has a fair bit of debt and has 4 outstanding loans. With that in mind, my guess is that these mortgages are interest only, and our LL did not get the increase in value that she was hoping for. In fact, Zoopla estimates a £10k haircut - I think it'll be more. First time buyers in my area will struggle to buy a property for £150k, which is what it is being marketed for.

When the Estate Agent phoned up to organise the viewing, I asked him directly if it was an investor or a prospective owner occupier buying. The unprofessional muppet told me that it was a prospective owner occupier, before asking if I was the tenant or owner of the flat!!

Anyway, armed with this information I deliberately made the place look tatty. Left some bad magazines lying around, didn't do the dishes, had a nice pile of dirty clothes on the go in the bathroom as well as few other things. Didn't fluff the cushions either - which is Kirsty property spivving 101.

I was also present during the viewing, sitting in my tatty office walking around in ripped up t-shirt and stained shorts (the stains were toothpaste, but I didn't tell them that).

The lady that came to view the flat left within 5 minutes after deciding it wasn't for her :D

Mission accomplished!

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Thought I'd give you guys an update.

So in over a month our flat has only had 1 viewing. It looks like that whilst the papers are talking up house prices a lot at the moment, the situation on the ground is very different. There just aren't any first time buyers in our area, and they would be the target buyers of our flat.

Perhaps the main market would be BTL rather than FTB? If it's a block with other BTLs in, it could lose its attraction to prospective owner-occupiers.

Our flat is owned by a company. The company also owns one other new built flat in a nearby city. The company has a fair bit of debt and has 4 outstanding loans. With that in mind, my guess is that these mortgages are interest only, and our LL did not get the increase in value that she was hoping for. In fact, Zoopla estimates a £10k haircut - I think it'll be more. First time buyers in my area will struggle to buy a property for £150k, which is what it is being marketed for.

Have you (tried to) look up the company's beneficial owners, to see if it's a one-man/family company or one with more stakeholders?

Mission accomplished!

:lol:

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Thanks for the update Superted,

Glad that you have not been bothered much in the last month.

When the last flat I rented was sold it was by a company (with links to Jersey and Switzerland) but the majority of people who came to see it where private buyers and the majority of those from abroad esp Europe, Russia and Arab countries. It was Maida Vale in London though and it appears that when the Euro was stronger the French and others bought property there.

Have you seen the ad for the property yet and does it say that there is a tenant? I've seen some flats with ads written for investors that say there is a sitting tenant and how much rent is paid. I'm wondering if the BTL'ers have finished buying in your area?

Edited by Flopsy

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Well, our LL originally promised me that they were only going to offer it to investors, but I knew that was b0llocks as she would just sell it to whoever would pay the most. The rightmove listing says nothing about it being an investment or having tenants. The photos they are also using are about 5 years old and do not accurately reflect the current state of the flat.

Incidentally, my MIL was around last night and speculated that she might buy the flat. I told her I'd be able to help her to engineer a heavily discounted price!

The company owners are my Landlord's husband and some other geezer. Any ideas which sites list out beneficiaries? I've only used duedil so far.

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Got another viewing booked in for tomorrow and I'm busy making the place look terrible.

We did just get some gold from the council through the post. The owners of the building directly opposite our flat have put in an application for planning permission of what must be a big development. The letter is inviting us to the consultation.

I've put the letter on display in the kitchen! Hopefully it'll have an effect!

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I've put the letter on display in the kitchen! Hopefully it'll have an effect!

A viewer isn't going to be reading letters.

Unless perhaps you take the trouble to draw their attention to it.

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My experience was that my old LL wanted to be able to show prospective purchasers around, and at the same time for all rent to be paid as before. It led to an awful tussle of wills.

Your LL may be the same or they could be willing to negotiate. The idea is that you could if you wanted make things hard for the LL or the EA to show people around by either refusing to co-operate with viewings or making the place a pigsty. You can also scare the new owner into thinking that it will take a court order to get you out at the end when the sale goes through.

Obviously you are a reasonable person....

Some tenants find that they can come to an agreement with the LL to allow viewings at agreed times/days in return for reduced rent. This is to compensate you for loss of your "quiet enjoyment". Some LL's are fine with this.

My personal experience was that both my LL and the various EA's didn't respect my right to quiet enjoyment. Didn't try to negotiate a rent decrease in return (as LL put barriers to contact up quickly and hide behind an offshore company) but my offer to allow viewings on a set day each week was abused and the EA's just let themselves into my flat during the day when they thought I was at work. This was not known to me until I was home sick on day and the EA just let himself and a client in with no warning.

why dont you change the locks and keep the old ones for when you leave? Does the landlord have to have a key to the property by law?

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A viewer isn't going to be reading letters.

Unless perhaps you take the trouble to draw their attention to it.

I did. It was on the cork board in the main landing area of the flat. It got seen and it looks like it helped :D

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  • 243 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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