Have to sell my property prematurely – do tenants deserve compensation?

by Readers Question

9:14 AM, 27th June 2016
About 5 years ago

Have to sell my property prematurely – do tenants deserve compensation?

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Have to sell my property prematurely – do tenants deserve compensation?

In June 2014 I bought a property as a retirement investment in Cornwall. It is in a lovely spot just 8-10 minutes walk from the coast. My tenants signed a contract in December 2014 and eventually moved in after the New Year of 2015. compensation

I now have to sell the property due to unexpected circumstances. I have told the tenants my situation and they have emailed to say they want compensation as they say they have spent thousands making it their home including carrying out improvements to the garden.

They also claim they have made the property considerably more valuable than when they originally moved in. The property had just had a complete facelift with a really nice new open-plan kitchen diner and new bathroom, redecorated throughout, new carpets etc, Apart from adding their own soft furnishings there wasn’t anything else left to do – as the inventory records will show.

At no time did they ask permission to make any improvements. Despite spending hundreds of pounds getting the garden cleared and tidied prior to them moving in they then stripped out lots more in the Spring and asked if I would contribute towards the cost of garden waste disposal. I gave them £100 which was more than half the bill. They decided to lift the shingle to the front of the house and replace the weed matting. Again, this was done without discussion or asking for any contribution towards labour. They now want compensation.

They also say I gave them a verbal agreement of a minimum of 10 years at the property and that apparently my 79 yr old mother said to them they could stay for 15 years (!) both of which is untrue. I had plans to retire there within 7-8 years.

Any suggestions on how I should handle this? My agent is issuing them the Section 21 and I am a member of NLA.

Many thanks

Jane

Comments

17:06 PM, 4th July 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Pettman" at "02/07/2016 - 13:52":

Hi John,

It was an initial 6 month fixed term which is now periodic. An old style section 21 has been issued. Although it was always my intention to rent the property until I retired or needed to move in, I never gave a written or verbal guarantee for a minimum period and certainly hope the agent didn't either. To date, they have not produced evidence to the contrary.

I don't want to narrow the marketplace by selling with tenants in situ - there's so few properties available within an 8 minute walk to the coastal path with stunning views I doubt I will have trouble selling it.

The tenants have asked if they can stay until I receive an offer on the property. What to do?? The old style Section 21 doesn't have an expiry date so I could keep it going until I need them to leave all the while receiving rent however I have to guarantee they will actually leave when I need them too. Would love to help them out and give them as much time as possible to find somewhere in the local area that takes 2 dogs (not easy) but I cant hang on forever and certainly don't want to lose a buyer. The best I can do is give them until the offer is accepted then issue an N5B to ensure they leave within 8-10 weeks and definitely before exchange.

What fun!

17:11 PM, 4th July 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "02/07/2016 - 14:26":

Hi Michael,

From what I now understand, a periodic tenancy requires 2 months regardless of the agreement struck on the frequency of the payments. If anyone knows to the contrary I would be interested to hear.

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