Help – I’m buying a property with an existing tenant

by Readers Question

6 months ago

Help – I’m buying a property with an existing tenant

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Help – I’m buying a property with an existing tenant

I actually spend my time refurbishing property and reselling it. I have zero experience in the rental market and no knowledge on how to be a landlord.

The property I’m about to buy is comprised of three flats, one has a tenant and I am told is on a fixed contract until next February. This is not an issue to me as I will be kept busy refurbishing the other flats and I am quite happy to be receiving some rent in the interim period.

I would appreciate any advice on what I should be looking out for. The areas that concern me are:
1. Do I have to give some form of notice to the tenant upon purchase?
2. Presumably he had paid a deposit, how does my purchase affect this?
3. Any other advice you experienced Landlords are able to give.

Many thanks



Neil Patterson

6 months ago

Hi Jose,

This question is much bigger than you would think and close to a Landlord tutorial in one.

The best place to start is with our series of article for Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law,

Please see >>

Mark Alexander

6 months ago

My advice would be to appoint a Letting Agent to deal with everything for you. Either that or stop doing your bob and take six months or more to learn about the 180 pieces of legislation you are now bound by, some of which could results in absolutely huge fines or a prison sentence. And no I am not joking!


Michael Barnes

6 months ago

I'm with Mark.
And get your solicitor to check that the tenancy agreement gives no problems, and to sort out the transfer of deposit and any issues if it has not been protected,


6 months ago

I can only agree with the others.
You really must read up on the basics of landlord responsibilities and liabilities at the very least.
It is no good at all relying on an agent because they are deemed as acting on your instructions, so anything they did or didn't do is because of you! In any case it goes back to the same point - you have to inform yourself in order to be certain any agent is doing the right things at the right time.
Before you go any further, you must check the status of the tenat's legal position, his actual tenancy agreement, his rent, his deposit if any was taken, if so where is it held etc.... Insist on seeing everything relating to the tenant. That may gain you some time to read up on all the information out there. I would advise you to join a landlord association - there are a few - if you decide to go ahead.
Good luck!


6 months ago

Most of the comments are "overkill" but they do highlight warnings if you think you don't have some responsabilities.

You are paying a solicitor to purchase the properties stress to him and put him under notice that you are relying on him to check the tenancies etc and ADVISE YOU ( e.g. gas certificates,epcs', asbestos survey, fire risk assessment, deposit schemes,water hygiene assessment - all these the vendor should be providing as I assuming you buying the whole property not just a few flats in a larger block)

Remember there is a different tax scenario for income as opposed to capital gains if you are flipping properties Keep every receipt and note your milage - best is also to pay everything even a £1 cost by c.c.

If the tents have a complaint then sort it - keep them happy

terry sullivan

6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by blair thorpe at 12/02/2018 - 15:43
water hygiene assessment????? never heard of that in UK


6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 12/02/2018 - 16:01It means legionella, it is not a legal requirement but if you have tanks that are not in regular use it is worth getting one, otherwise I can tell you for free the risk is very low. There is plenty of material on the internet to read up on it.
If you just have a combi boiler then there is no need at all. I am worried you are not aware of it though...

Martin Roberts

6 months ago

Re Leoginella if you don't have tanks then run the water, every tap and shower, for 5 mins and note it in your diary.

Ian Narbeth

6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Eps 17 at 12/02/2018 - 13:58
With respect you should be able to rely on a good agent. Ask around in your area who the good managing agents are.


6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 12/02/2018 - 18:42
Absolutely, one should be able to rely on professional services, however, I was merely trying to point out that ultimately the landlord is accountable.

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