Many laws govern the sale of tenanted properties. A buyer should know of laws surrounding the sale of a tenanted property. If he does not know of these laws, then he must hire a professional who can help with buying property with tenants while adhering to the prevailing laws. Breach of a law of tenancy can cost the buyer massive financial losses of even a time in prison.
A buyer may wish to retain current tenants of the property once he buys the property. He may also either want the retained tenants to sign new agreements, or to continue their tenancy under the pre-existing agreements. Otherwise, he may wish to have them vacate the property upon purchase. Some special laws and regulations guide possession of a tenanted property. There are also other sets of legislation that can give a buyer an edge towards manipulating the property to his advantage.
What should you know as a buyer?
It is important for the buyer to know the type of tenants that are occupying the property. Type of tenancy determines the procedure for purchasing a property. Laws guiding tenant eviction are found in Section 6 and Section 21. These sections serve different purposes. Section 21 can be served alongside Section 8 to effect quick termination of tenancy.
One of the types of tenancy is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Property in an assured shorthold tenancy is owned by a private landlord. In this kind of tenancy, the flat must be the only home a tenant has, or at least be his main home. The tenant should also have occupied the property on or after February 28 of 1997. The law provides outlets that a landlord can use to recover property from assured shorthold tenants. Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 gives landlords the right to repossess the property after the tenancy period has expired. The landlord does not have to provide any grounds for repossession.
Repossessing tenanted property
If the owner wishes to repossess the property during the fixed time, then he might resort to section 8 of the Housing Act. For section 8 to be effective, the tenant must have breached one of the items of the contract between him and the landlord. Breach of tenancy gives landlords grounds for repossession. Examples of grounds for repossession include anti-social behaviours in a tenant and rent arrears. These grounds are listed in Schedule 2 of the Act.
The duration of time from serving a notice of eviction to repossession of the property depends on the law you are using to repossess, and the grounds for termination of tenancy. If you are using Section 21, then you must give the tenant at least 2 months notice. If you are serving section 8, then the period will range from 2 weeks to 2 months. The ground you are using to end the tenancy under section 8 determines the amount of time you can give the tenant to vacate the property.
If the tenant refuses to get out of the property after you serve the notice, then you can seek a court order. Some residents may claim that they have not received a notice of eviction. The landlord should use a means of notice delivery that is admissible in court. The best ones include using a Professional Process Server or posting the notice through two different post offices. The post office should give you a Certificate of Posting.