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Could I buy my rental property?

Started by SolarSix, May 20, 2024, 10:21:04 AM

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Hi. I need some advice. I have been informed by my letting agent that I may be served a section 21 soon as the landlord is unable to afford to get the property up to the minimum acceptable EPC rating, and it will be illegal for me to stay here. My contract was ended a few years ago and I have been on a rolling tenancy ever since. I have been at the property for 18 years. I have also been told that the flat is to be left empty (along with the flat downstairs, that they have done nothing with in the 4 years since my elderly neighbour died). It has been a huge shock but I have managed to secure a small mortgage and am looking for somewhere to buy. I wondered if it would be inappropriate of me to put in an offer on this flat? I don't even know how I would go about this. I really don't get on with my letting agents, I feel like they consider me a nuisance and they can be a bit condescending sometimes, so I am reluctant to even pitch this idea to them, but I know it probably isn't appropriate to contact my landlord directly. I know the flat needs a lot of work, but judging by similar flats in the area in much better condition, I think I could afford to buy this and start getting the work done. The building also has several businesses in it that are staying. The landlord owns the whole building. I know it would probably be a no, but I am pretty heartbroken about having to leave and I cannot imagine what the landlord has to gain by letting half of his building rot. It is in a fantastic location and has so much potential if money was spent on it. I love being here and would do almost anything to stay.


I don't think it's at all inappropriate to make an offer to buy the property. If I were the landlord, I'd probably be delighted.


If you are serious about this you really should contact the landlord directly. If you don' t know their address you can get it from the Land Registry for a small fee. Please don' t let your attachment to the flat blind you to possible problems. Would  you be purchasing the freehold or the leasehold for example?  What is the situation regarding responsibility for any communal areas ? If you ever needed to sell, would anyone else want to live in such a place ? 

Personally I would never buy a flat again. I'  m sorry to sound negative, I really understand why you want to stay, but re- think this idea that you would do " almost anything"  to stay on. If your mortgage offer is in principle, you may find it would not apply to this type of property.   


I will jump and reassure and echo...

It is absolutely not inappropriate to make an offer to a property that is being let. I would bypass the Agents - there are ways to get the contact details of your Landlord. An Agent may help, they may not. But you should try because, if all else fails, then you know you've given it your best shot.

The Landlord may have other concerns you've not thought of, though. They obviously own the building, so will most likely own the Freehold... any buyer of one unit would not end up in the same situation... you would most likely end up as a Leaseholder. Even though I am one myself (numerous times over) it is not something I find I could recommend to anyone. The Landlord, having sold one property, wouldn't escape any EPC-related obligations for the other units... so understanding the thinking around this is going to be both challenging and important. It sounds daft, but maybe they're prepared to knock it down (I know you say that several businesses are staying) and start again, as a bunch of kebab and vaping shops (or hookah cafes)?

Being prepared to do almost anything to stay is obviously not something you should let slide in any future contact you may have.

On EPC ratings... you give no clues as to what needs doing... but LED bulbs throughout make a huge difference, believe it or not.