No tenancy agreement since 2006!

by Readers Question

13:15 PM, 25th May 2015
About 4 years ago

No tenancy agreement since 2006!

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No tenancy agreement since 2006!

I’m looking at buying a tenanted house from a deceased persons estate. The trouble is there’s no tenancy agreement, or record of one, and the tenant hasn’t paid any rent since the owner died.

The tenant has been there since 2006.

Does anyone have experience of anything similar?

I’m wondering whether it’s possible to ensure the tenant signs a new assured tenancy agreement?

If he refuses to sign how easy would it be to evict the tenant?

Many thanks

Andrewsitting



Comments

Neil Patterson

13:17 PM, 25th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Andrew,

You would definitely need a tenancy agreement as part of the purchase, but my gut feeling is that if the tenant has taken advantage of the situation and not paid rent you are in for a lot of trouble!

Mark Alexander

13:49 PM, 25th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "25/05/2015 - 13:17":

I recommend you insist on purchasing with vacant possession, that way the eviction is the problem of the solicitor or executors of the estate.
.

Andrew Briggs

18:39 PM, 25th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Many thanks for the advice.

John Frith

12:21 PM, 26th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "25/05/2015 - 13:49":

Wouldn't there be more likelyhood of a positive result if Andrew were to instead insist on purchasing with vacant possession OR A VALID TENANCY AGREEMENT?

That way they have the option of finding the existing, or creating a new tenancy agreement.

Mark Alexander

12:49 PM, 26th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Frith" at "26/05/2015 - 12:21":

Possibly, but given that the tenant has already stopped paying I don't think that bodes well for a good relationship with a new landlord, do you?
.

Freda Blogs

13:36 PM, 26th May 2015
About 4 years ago

We don't know all the facts here.

It may be that the tenant has tried paying rent into the Landlord’s bank account, but if that has been closed/put into suspense following the LLs death, it may not be receiving payments. The tenant may not have been told to pay into an Estate account.

Secondly, if a copy of the tenancy agreement cannot be found, a new arrangement will have to be arrived to regularise the situation, so whichever way of looking at it, there needs to be a dialogue with the tenant as regards outstanding rent (payable to the former landlord’s estate) and a tenancy agreement.

Finally, if it is considered that selling with vacant possession will be the best option in terms of proceeds (having regard to purchase price, time taken for getting VP and the sale, plus likely loss of rent for the period between vacant possession and completion of the sale), then most likely the tenant will have to leave, as the Executors are obliged to get the best price for the beneficiaries, unless the beneficiaries agree otherwise.

djb 5353

8:47 AM, 30th May 2015
About 4 years ago

A question. If there is no tenancy agreement how easy is it to get a tenant out ? Can you issue a Section 21 in the normal way or would it be more involved ?

Puzzler

10:27 AM, 30th May 2015
About 3 years ago

Seems like the executors haven't been doing their job. Buy with vacant possession. If the tenant wants to remain he can approach you for a new tenancy.

Nick Pope

13:28 PM, 30th May 2015
About 3 years ago

If rent has not been paid it is still due and forms part of the estate for Capital Transfer Tax purposes and the infernal revenue are able to assess tax on the assumption that it had been paid. In addition there may be Capital Gains Tax implications.

So far as lack of tenancy agreement is concerned it is possible that a Court would make an assumption that there is a valid tenancy agreement if the evidence suggests it. For instance has the rent been increased since the start of the tenancy, is there a deposit and how is it held etc? If both the landlord and tenant have been acting as there is a tenancy then there probably is one despite the lack of paperwork.

Finally I agree with those above - buy only with vacant possession or a valid tenancy agreement and properly protected deposit. If you are buying "as is" then I also suggest that you do an inventory/schedule of condition immediately so you have a base for condition.

Puzzler

16:28 PM, 30th May 2015
About 3 years ago

Good point, there is a debt to the estate. It depends then on the beneficiaries.

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