Tenants in situ – Previous landlord does not have Gas/Electric/DPS?

Tenants in situ – Previous landlord does not have Gas/Electric/DPS?

9:54 AM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago 76

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Hi All, Just a bit of advice please. I am in the process of purchasing my first buy to let and was expecting the property empty on completion.

The agent has now come back and stated that the property is tenanted. The tenants want to stay and the seller wants to sell the property with the tenants as he is in a hurry.

I have spoken to the seller who has advised that he was a first time landlord himself and the tenants were friends of a friend and he has not had any issues with them.

He advised that he got them to sign a generic AST in 2019 but did not know about the Gas Certificates/electric certificates or DPS. He does not have these but will get them done. He did take a deposit of them years ago.

Should I still continue and purchase the property?

Is there anything that can be done to rectify the situation or should just walk away?

Thanks,

Maz


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Comments

RoseD

10:51 AM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

Your solicitor is the best person to advise. All of those things should be sortable. Question is if it's best for current owner to have all those things in place before you purchase or if you sort as new owner. Again legal advise is your best option to avoid walking into a hornet's nest!

Graham Bowcock

11:46 AM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

If this is your first BTL it may be best for you to walk away.

If the current owner has failed to deal with pre-commencement compliance you cannot get vacant possession. The failure is not capable of being remedied and the fact that you are buying the property (and becoming the landlord) is irrelevant.

If you still want to proceed then you need to pay a price that reflects the risks you are taking - i.e. much lower than the VP value. Quite simply the seller has got it wrong so if he wants to sell quickly he will have to suffer the consequences.

Darren Peters

11:56 AM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

Seems like a bait and switch to me. You were told it was a vacant possession property and, now that you have no doubt invested some time and money towards the purchase, they are switching to a different thing.

If it were me I would require the seller to either supply the property vacant as originally advertised or supply all the requisite documents AND a deed confirming seller will act as personal guarantor for the tenants.

I would be wondering if the change from vacant possession to tenanted is because the tenants are not leaving as he asked them to.

David

11:56 AM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

Yes, I would probably walk away.

A tenanted property would normally attract offers 10%-20% below market value. I think most landlords would expect an even greater discount knowing there were problems with the tenancy.

Annabel Blake

12:16 PM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

Just for my info: does anybody think it would be possible to sort this by the current owner giving the tenant a Section 21 (min two months notice and ending on the last day of a rental period) then agreeing to issue them with a new AST from the following day, making sure he/she supplies all the normal stuff now needed (GSC, EPC, EICR etc, etc)? Clearly this would then become a 'new' six month fixed AST, but would it give the potential buyer some security about the legitimacy of the tenancy?

Seething Landlord

12:16 PM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

The main problem is the failure to provide a gas safety certificate before the tenants moved in and this cannot be rectified so you will never be able to serve a S21 notice.

I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Graham Bowcock

12:18 PM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Annabel Blake at 23/02/2023 - 12:16
No. That will not work. It is not possible to put things right retrospectively, even by trying to start again.

Windsor Woman

12:34 PM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

As you are an inexperienced landlord, walk away - take anything the vendor says with a pinch of salt and ask yourself why he's really selling? You could just be inheriting someone else's headache and if this is (or becomes) a problematic tenancy, it will consume your life.

There are other opportunities out there - start your BTL career with something more straightforward while you learn the ropes.

Annabel Blake

12:45 PM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 23/02/2023 - 12:18
Hmm, I thought that might be the case. So, for academic interest, how would this luckless current owner ever be able to end the tenancy? There must be some mechanism, surely?

Crossed_Swords

12:52 PM, 23rd February 2023, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Annabel Blake at 23/02/2023 - 12:45
Wait for them to leave, I have never ended a tenancy in 25 years.

Solicitor should advise on this

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