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mh0703

Help please - Letter from EA about selling house I'm renting

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Hello,

Longtime lurker here. I've always been so impressed with the quality of knowledge on this forum and I was hoping you might be able to help me with the following.
I've been renting this place for a few years and felt quite settled but then I got a letter saying along the lines of:

"The landlord has asked us to try and sell the property you are renting. They don’t want to give you notice as they feel it is unlikely to sell in this market but would like us to see if there is a buyer out there. We would like to come round to see you to discuss this and how we can keep disruption for you to a minimum."

I just feel a bit numb really and don't know what to do next - would anybody here have any advise?

Many thanks in advance!

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1 minute ago, RomfordDon said:

Start looking for a new rental. Hopefully the void period will teach him a lesson

Is the correct answer! Damocles sword hovering above you will stress you out.

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Not much you can do about this unfortunately. I believe you can refuse right of access to prospective buyers tenants to view if not given sufficient notice (24 hours) but I'd assume you also want to balance that with keeping your landlord happy for a reference. 

I used to live In a 4 flat tenement in Deptford. On night a bloke turned up, hammering the buzzers, trying to get into any of the flats. He was waving an auction catalogue and saying 'your landlords put this whole block of 4 up for auction, I want to come in and take a look'. He was less than politely told where to go. No idea if he became my landlord or not. 

Your flat won't sell with a sitting tenant u less he's selling to another landlord. A normal home buyer would struggle to get a mortgage for a property where there was currently a sitting tenant. If he gets interest I'd imagine he will serve you notice asap. 

Edited by regprentice

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I would see what they have to say, but I would not be willing to have random people effectively come and look around my home. That said we are now only 3.5 months away from the tennant fee ban coming into force (in England) so I would do what was needed to not make the landlord serve notice on me for another 1.5 months then tell him to get stuffed, knowing I could then easily move without much financial shock.

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1 hour ago, mh0703 said:

Hello,

Longtime lurker here. I've always been so impressed with the quality of knowledge on this forum and I was hoping you might be able to help me with the following.
I've been renting this place for a few years and felt quite settled but then I got a letter saying along the lines of:

"The landlord has asked us to try and sell the property you are renting. They don’t want to give you notice as they feel it is unlikely to sell in this market but would like us to see if there is a buyer out there. We would like to come round to see you to discuss this and how we can keep disruption for you to a minimum."

I just feel a bit numb really and don't know what to do next - would anybody here have any advise?

Many thanks in advance!

 

OP,

There is nothing at all you can do about this. You are going to be leaving this property.

In this particular situation you are somewhat fortunate though as you have been given greater than the usual two months notice, as they need to admit to you what they are doing to explain away the viewings.

Please be aware though that they DO want to give you notice. They DO want you to leave, but they want you to leave when THEY want you to leave. They are telling you they dont want you to leave because they want to keep rent coming in as long as possible up to the sale date. If you leave, they will not be able to get another tenant as they are trying to sell it. So the property will be sitting there empty, not bringing in money, not covering the LLs mortgage.

As soon as they get a  buyer though, you will receive two months notice. They are making it sound like they are your friend, and that they are thinking of you, but they are actually thinking of themselves. They want to have their cake and eat it. They want to sell, but to keep it as smooth and risk free for themselves as possible. They want you to take on the risk. If that means lulling you into a false sense of security, they are happy to do that to benefit themselves. They dont care that you would then be on a strict two month time frame where you will have to take a property in that period whether it is right for you or not.

You have the opportunity to start looking for a new property now, on your time frame rather than theirs. If I was you I would start looking right away.

Even if it "doesnt sell", this is not a long term property for you. You know what the LLs desire is now. They have a particular reason for wanting to sell; it is probably financial given all the hits LLs are facing. That is not going to change, it is going to get worse. They will try again in the future. The writing is on the wall for this property so you might as well deal with it on your time frame rather than theirs.

 

Edited by AdamoMucci

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19 minutes ago, happyguy said:

No it does not 

I have to agree with our resident estate agent here, but you can minimise disruption by limiting the number and times of viewings.

Unless you're okay with the EA conducting viewings in your absence, make it clear to them that, even if they have a key, they are not to enter your home without you being present and consider changing the lock if they sound as if they might try. Locks are cheap and easy to fit and you can change it back when you leave.

Edited by Bruce Banner

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26 minutes ago, AdamoMucci said:

 

OP,

There is nothing at all you can do about this. You are going to be leaving this property.

In this particular situation you are somewhat fortunate though as you have been given greater than the usual two months notice, as they need to admit to you what they are doing to explain away the viewings.

Please be aware though that they DO want to give you notice. They DO want you to leave, but they want you to leave when THEY want you to leave. They are telling you they dont want you to leave because they want to keep rent coming in as long as possible up to the sale date. If you leave, they will not be able to get another tenant as they are trying to sell it. So the property will be sitting there empty, not bringing in money, not covering the LLs mortgage.

As soon as they get a  buyer though, you will receive two months notice. They are making it sound like they are your friend, and that they are thinking of you, but they are actually thinking of themselves. They want to have their cake and eat it. They want to sell, but to keep it as smooth for themselves as possible. If that means lulling you into a false sense of security, they are happy to do that to benefit themselves. They dont care that you would then be on a strict two month time frame where you will have to take a property in that period whether it is right for you or not.

You have the opportunity to start looking for a new property now, on your time frame rather than theirs. If I was you I would start looking right away.

Even if it "doesnt sell", this is not a long term property for you. You know what the LLs desire is now. They have a particular reason for wanting to sell; it is probably financial given all the hits LLs are facing. That is not going to change, it is going to get worse. They will try again in the future. The writing is on the wall for this property so you might as well deal with it on your time frame rather than theirs.

 

I agree with all of the above

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https://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/landlord-selling-property/

Tenants’ rights in case of property sale

A lease is a legal interest in a property. If the ownership of the property changes, that interest is not destroyed. This means your tenancy will persist through and after the property sale. Tenants still benefit from all their tenancy rights as described by the law. None of them are limited, altered or restricted by the change of ownership.

You have a right to remain in the property for the entire fixed term period. The landlord, who purchases the property is forced to accept the sitting tenant at least until the fixed term is over. The landlord can still use eviction procedures against you, but they need to follow the established rules. You can read more on eviction below.

As a tenant, you also have a right to peaceful enjoyment of your rented property. Renters are free to close the door to everyone they don’t want in their home. You’re not obliged to let in estate agents, prospecting buyers or other persons for viewing purposes. The landlord can send you a 24 hour notice for a personal inspection of the premises. However, you’re still able to deny them entry. In fact, without a court order, you can even close the door to the police. Landlords are allowed to enter in cases of emergencies like fires or gas leaks.

Renters have a right to live in a safe and protected environment. Any repair problems must be reported to the landlord or managing agent. In turn, they (the landlord or managing agent) must cater to the repairs in due time. Regardless of selling the property, they must take responsibility for the repair and maintenance. This is enforced by the Landlord and Tenant Act from 1985 describe. Landlords can be held accountable before the courts if they allow for the property to become unsafe or hazardous to tenants.

So, the same rights apply regardless of the property’s ownership status.

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32 minutes ago, Freki said:

Disruption means compensation, ask to have your rent halved. 

Agree 100%. I would start by asking for a 50% rent reduction before you allow a single perspective buyer through the door. After all, you could be allowing a potential burglar to have a look around your house. It will cause you significant disruption, putting valuables away, interrupting your work, cooking, television etc or vacating the property all together.  If they are unwilling to agree to this proposal I would end the existing agreement as quick as possible on the grounds it has become untenable. 

Find somewhere new to live and let them enjoy the void! 

Good luck. 

P.s out of interest what area? 

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1 minute ago, Freki said:

 

I dont think this really helps much. The OP is probably outside the fixed term period. Even if they are not, how long is likely left on it? If it is a couple of months, the LL can still serve notice at any time. If it is say four months, the OP is still going to have to leave in four months. They might as well start looking for a new property on their terms.

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25 minutes ago, AdamoMucci said:

 

OP,

There is nothing at all you can do about this. You are going to be leaving this property.

In this particular situation you are somewhat fortunate though as you have been given greater than the usual two months notice, as they need to admit to you what they are doing to explain away the viewings.

Please be aware though that they DO want to give you notice. They DO want you to leave, but they want you to leave when THEY want you to leave. They are telling you they dont want you to leave because they want to keep rent coming in as long as possible up to the sale date. If you leave, they will not be able to get another tenant as they are trying to sell it. So the property will be sitting there empty, not bringing in money, not covering the LLs mortgage.

As soon as they get a  buyer though, you will receive two months notice. They are making it sound like they are your friend, and that they are thinking of you, but they are actually thinking of themselves.

You have the opportunity to start looking for a new property now, on your time frame rather than theirs. If I was you I would start looking right away.

Even if it "doesnt sell", this is not a long term property for you. You know what the LLs desire is now. They have a particular reason for wanting to sell; it is probably financial given all the hits LLs are facing. That is not going to change, it is going to get worse. They will try again in the future. The writing is on the wall for this property so you might as well deal with it on your time frame rather than theirs.

 

Nicely summarised - probably very wise to view this in the most cynical terms.

OP - the landlord's agenda is clear and while it's possible that the property could sell to another investor scumbag (allowing you to stay), in this market I think it's more likely to go to an owner occupier.

Similar happened to us in our last flat but worked out OK as it took a while to sell and we got another year out of it with renewal fees waived as we were basically doing them a favour. Thinking about it we should have asked for a rent reduction, however the agents were decent and rent was (relatively) cheap so we didn't feel too screwed.

If you're going to be renting for a long time / not intending to buy in the near future then IMO it would be best to start looking for an alternative now; since you know the LL is going to want it gone at some point. Better to get out early under your own terms and leave the scumbag with a void period until the property is sold; while the agents approach seems "pleasant" I suspect as already suggested they're only looking to keep you calm to suit their own agenda / that of their client.

When does your current lease expire? If it's soon and you're happy to ride out the uncertainty you could wait until the renewal period then attempt to negotiate a fat rent reduction for remaining in the property until it sells, since I'd imagine they'd otherwise struggle to get a short-term tenant to fill the gap between your vacation of the property and it (eventually?) selling.

Good luck :)

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, 2rocketman said:

Agree 100%. I would start by asking for a 50% rent reduction before you allow a single perspective buyer through the door. After all, you could be allowing a potential burglar to have a look around your house. It will cause you significant disruption, putting valuables away, interrupting your work, cooking, television etc or vacating the property all together.  If they are unwilling to agree to this proposal I would end the existing agreement as quick as possible on the grounds it has become untenable. 

Find somewhere new to live and let them enjoy the void! 

Good luck. 

P.s out of interest what area? 

OP,

Dont do as advised here. You are not going to get a rent reduction, you are just going to embarrass yourself. And if you start refusing viewings you are just going to cause needless conflict. And you will still have to leave. This is all just tinkering around the edges. Just get on with it and find a new property.

Edited by AdamoMucci

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1 minute ago, AdamoMucci said:

OP,

Dont do as advised here. You are not going to get a rent reduction, you are just going to embarrass yourself. And if you start refusing viewings you are just going to cause needless conflict. And you will still have to leave. Just get on with it and find a new property.

Each to there own I guess. As the tenant what is there to loose? Conflict would not bother me at all. I would be spinning it to my advantage.

You say there is no chance of a rent reduction with some certainty? The owner could have an incredibly long void period right up until exchange of contracts. 1 year plus easily. Throughout which time he will be liable for the council tax etc. 

50% better than zero. 

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12 minutes ago, 2rocketman said:

Each to there own I guess. As the tenant what is there to loose? Conflict would not bother me at all. I would be spinning it to my advantage.

You say there is no chance of a rent reduction with some certainty? The owner could have an incredibly long void period right up until exchange of contracts. 1 year plus easily. Throughout which time he will be liable for the council tax etc. 

50% better than zero. 

Well, OP could try I guess. I would be amazed if they get 50%. I would be surprised if they get anything significant. Tenants overestimate their power in this situation. It is not considered unreasonable to have a few viewings, especially if they are grouped to once or twice a week. At the end of the day the only real power the tenant has here is to leave on their terms rather than going through this stuff and then getting booted on the LLs terms. They should just get on with finding a new place and with a bit of luck a rent reduction will not be relevant. All the battling is just tinkering around the edges. They are going to be leaving and thats that. Personally I would be on Right Move right now arranging viewings for tomorrow rather than negotiating with the agent for the rent that will be due in, say, six weeks time.

Edited by AdamoMucci

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In Buckinghamshire it's probably going to sell, but that will probably take 5-6 months, so you likely won't have to worry about letting fees.

I was going to suggest a kind of "reverse decluttering" to discourage buyers but given the timescales and your location I doubt that really matters - if they do a viewing and find a buyer tomorrow thats less disruption for you than multiple viewings over months to come.

I would ask for a rent discount, but don't ask for any specific amount let them figure that out. They might offer 5% or 10% which is still better than nothing.

If you have any small valuables I would invest in a document safe for them just for the peace of mind.

This does make me wonder if some agents will start trying to shift their fees from the tenant to the LL this summer and that might be the final straw which tips a few more LL's into selling.

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2 hours ago, mh0703 said:

Hello,

Longtime lurker here. I've always been so impressed with the quality of knowledge on this forum and I was hoping you might be able to help me with the following.
I've been renting this place for a few years and felt quite settled but then I got a letter saying along the lines of:

"The landlord has asked us to try and sell the property you are renting. They don’t want to give you notice as they feel it is unlikely to sell in this market but would like us to see if there is a buyer out there. We would like to come round to see you to discuss this and how we can keep disruption for you to a minimum."

I just feel a bit numb really and don't know what to do next - would anybody here have any advise?

Many thanks in advance!

Two choices:

1) Ask the EA to progress with a eviction notice and period. After which they can have as much access to the empty property as they like.

2) Pay a pepper corn rent whilst you accommodate the hassle.

 

You can point out to he EA that your tenancy permits you quiet enjoyment.

 

If the EA has billed charge you for tenancy - credit check, inventory fees etc etc.

Id suggest you give him an costed list of activity:

Talk to EA -£500.

Show buyers round - £1000.

 

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11 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Two choices:

1) Ask the EA to progress with a eviction notice and period. After which they can have as much access to the empty property as they like.

2) Pay a pepper corn rent whilst you accommodate the hassle.

 

You can point out to he EA that your tenancy permits you quiet enjoyment.

 

If the EA has billed charge you for tenancy - credit check, inventory fees etc etc.

Id suggest you give him an costed list of activity:

Talk to EA -£500.

Show buyers round - £1000.

 

Asking EA to serve notice seems silly. Why start the clock on your own eviction when you havent found a place?

And to agree to pepper corn rent, LL might as well give notice which puts OP on LLs time frame.

As to asking for a grand, not only are they going to refuse since the whole idea for LL is to keep the money coming in during this period, they are going to take offence at these sorts of numbers and the whole thing is going to escalate into something nasty. And it is not going to change anything. Tenant has to leave, and taking this sort of attitude is just going to make it more likely that they immediately receive two months notice which loses the OP the only power they have, which is to be the one to give notice on THEIR time frame.

Its all just tit for tat stuff and tinkering around the edges. Tenant is still going to have to leave. Should just get on with it.

Edited by AdamoMucci

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26 minutes ago, AdamoMucci said:

Asking EA to serve notice seems silly. Why start the clock on your own eviction when you havent found a place?

And to agree to pepper corn rent, LL might as well give notice which puts OP on LLs time frame.

As to asking for a grand, not only are they going to refuse since the whole idea for LL is to keep the money coming in during this period, they are going to take offence at these sorts of numbers and the whole thing is going to escalate into something nasty. And it is not going to change anything. Tenant has to leave, and taking this sort of attitude is just going to make it more likely that they immediately receive two months notice which loses the OP the only power they have, which is to be the one to give notice on THEIR time frame.

Its all just tit for tat stuff and tinkering around the edges. Tenant is still going to have to leave. Should just get on with it.

You sound like a landlord😂

I’m actually envious of this guys situation, I rent and if my landlord approaches me in this manor I’m going to go to town...

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42 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Two choices:

1) Ask the EA to progress with a eviction notice and period. After which they can have as much access to the empty property as they like.

2) Pay a pepper corn rent whilst you accommodate the hassle.

 

You can point out to he EA that your tenancy permits you quiet enjoyment.

 

If the EA has billed charge you for tenancy - credit check, inventory fees etc etc.

Id suggest you give him an costed list of activity:

Talk to EA -£500.

Show buyers round - £1000.

 

The tenant holds all the power in this situation. If you vacate, the landlord will probably need to redecorate, loose rent income, pay council tax. If it remains on the market for a long time they may feel more pressure to take a reduced offer with it sitting empty. 

It is a renters/buyers market at present, so no doubt if you have to move you will negotiate a better rate on your new  tenancy. 

Personally I only have 6 months tenancy agreements,  I have reduced it by £50.00 on the last 2 renewals and I will do so again in April. They will no doubt agree because if they even have 1 month void, then have to pay new tenant referral fees, admin etc,  the costs will run way above the £300 reduction I’m proposing. 

I feel I have them by the balls because I’m a minimalist and I’m prepared to walk away no problem. I will just rent one of the other empty flats in the block. 

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Start looking for a new place to live, find one you like and sign a tenancy agreement, then give notice on your current place and move out.

This way you are doing things on your schedule rather than the timing being determined by when your landlord decides to issue a S21.

No point trying to do anything more complicated than that like negotiating for compensation, putting up a fuss about viewings etc. You will just give yourself extra stress.

Edited by Dorkins

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The LL or EA has zero rights to access your flat for viewings.  It is your home! How would a owner occupier respond if a random interior decorator asked to show clients round their home? They'd say pay me or F off.  The LL or EA has just as much right as that hypothetical decorator. 

Be polite, but firm.  State the law, state you're always happy to help, but also state you see no reason why you should have your life and home disrupted for no compensation.  

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Be aware that whatever it may say in your contract, conducting viewings while you're still in residence does not come under the 'quiet enjoyment' heading, so you are fully entitled to refuse - or to expect a reduction in the rent. 

 

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