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My landlord is selling my property; letting agency just extended my contract??

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Author Topic: My landlord is selling my property; letting agency just extended my contract??  (Read 1345 times)
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« on: October 08, 2020, 01:57:52 PM »

As title says - my landlord is selling my property and Iíve had viewings two days ago.

HOWEVER, my lettings agency renewed my contract in March for an additional 12 months, which I had to pay a fee to extend. Ending in March. The estate agents had no idea of the extended contract and they told me the landlord had no idea either.

They are still going ahead with future viewings and I had even forwarded an email from the letting agency to the estate agent showing proof of the extended contract, but there had been no reply So far.

Iím a little worried where I stand? Can they sell the property and get rid of me? The estate agents asked me what my plans are but I would like to remain here until my contract is over.

I am paying rent on time, look after the property well (except for occasional wear & tear) & I have great relations with neighbours.

Edit: clearly there had been miscommunication between letting agency, landlord and the estate agents. I spoke to the letting agency whom told me they were not even aware of the landlord selling. I passed this onto the estate agent who reassured me he told the letting agency and told me they are the worst letting agency he had ever dealt with.

Is this miscommunication going to affect me? I donít want to move end of the year when there is a global pandemic.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 02:01:19 PM by Tenant272727 »
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2020, 02:59:08 PM »

Which home nation are you in? England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland?

Quote
my lettings agency renewed my contract in March for an additional 12 months

You can't really "extend" a tenancy, so realistically we're talking about another fixed term tenancy was agreed, for a term of 12 months.

Given your description of the relationship, I would guess the letting agent action even if the landlord wasn't aware of it, would have binded the landlord, i.e. the tenancy would be valid.

Quote
which I had to pay a fee to extend

Erm, depending on where you are, they may not had been legally allowed to charge that.

Quote
Can they sell the property and get rid of me?

Yes they can sell of course, but the sale wouldn't affect your rights under your tenancy. Your tenancy wouldn't be ended by the sale. If they want to sell with vacant possession, then they would either need to evict you first, or come to an agreement with you for you to leave voluntarily. Notices in England, Wales & Scotland (no idea with NI) are all at least 6 months at the moment, so just that would bring it past the end of your fixed term, and then time for any possession case to go through court given Covid backlog. You're basically in a very strong position at the moment.

Nothing stopping them from selling with you in situ, so you'll have a new landlord at the end of it.
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2020, 03:03:40 PM »

Don't panic.You can't be forced to leave until you are able to,and you don't have to agree to viewings if it is disruptive to you. It does sound as if they have been very discourteous indeed.
Even if someone was prepared to buy with you there,it could take months to complete.There is a very big backlog with the land registry due to Covid.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 03:23:27 PM »

I am based in England.

Apologies for the terrible wording - I said ďextendedĒ because thatís what the letting agency used.

So far every viewing has been with people who would like to move in... By the sounds of it they are not aware of the 6 months notice, as even the sales agent was not aware. Every property viewer asked me when I could move out, to which I just responded it depended on the notice, when my contract ends etc. They were all in a hurry to move in.

Thank you for the reassurance guys. I had been very terrified of the possible outcome especially because of lack of information from any of the external parties.
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 03:37:16 PM »

I would email the sales agent and ask them to hold off on viewings for the moment as there is no chance of vacant possession any time soon.
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2020, 04:32:39 PM »

While you're at it, contact the letting agent and ask for your renewal fee / extension fee (whatever they wants to call it) back, as it was paid after it was banned by the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2020, 04:49:38 PM »

While you're at it, contact the letting agent and ask for your renewal fee / extension fee (whatever they wants to call it) back, as it was paid after it was banned by the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
That was my first thought.  Regardless of everything else the tenant shouldn't be paying any fees from that date.
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2020, 06:04:24 PM »

Even if the Landlord did communicate their intention to sell your home, but the Letting Agent still put a new fixed term agreement in front of you... and you signed it... you have that fixed term. The Agent is exactly that - the Agent of the Landlord... they act on their behalf, and the Landlord has given them the right to do that. So even if the Landlord comes to you and says - "Look nice Tenant, my mate, my pal, this Letting Agent has gone rogue, they didn't have my permission to give you another fixed term of 12 months... it's all just a big misunderstanding, you can see that, right? Can't you? You'll move out, won't you? I need to sell, you see? My old mum is on her last legs and the last thing she wanted was to see me sell this house."

You can just say - "I have a fixed term AST that runs until March 2021 - that's legally binding. It you want me to leave the property before then we're going to need to communicate on a more pragmatic level. If you want to sell to a Landlord / Investor that is fine - they can just step into your shoes as my Landlord - but there's no chance any purchaser will get vacant possession without it being worth my while." - and stand firm. You have that AST. It's yours. You've banked it. You're taking that home.

Getting your fee back from the Letting Agent is a good thing to want. You should try it. But if they actually are the worst Letting Agent... you'll probably need to take it further before getting satisfaction.

Anyway... if the Landlord has just decided to sell... in, say, the last month or so... then who knows what the Landlord was thinking last March. Probably thought it'd be good to get you in for another year, and now things have changed... oops.

Don't be bullied. Come here for advice.
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2020, 06:06:22 PM »

I would email the sales agent and ask them to hold off on viewings for the moment as there is no chance of vacant possession any time soon.

This can be done, of course. You could write to both the Estate Agent and the Landlord forbidding viewings. You could change the locks even. I would consider it quite a serious escalation, though. Better to tell viewers, when the Sales Agent is present, that you have a fixed term agreement until "the middle of 2021"  :-X... the folk who want to move in will leave disinterested... and the Estate Agent will likely get bored.
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2020, 07:23:10 PM »

You guys have all been helpful and fantastic and I thank you all very much.

My landlord was planning on selling around March / April as that is when I was first contacted by the agent. whereas my letting agency was already aware of the extension to the contract in January, as that is when I paid the fee.

I contacted my letting agency to confirm my contract and they did confirm it (also have email proof). The lettings agency was apparently not aware of the landlord selling. I then decided to contact the sales agent who sighed, told me this is crazy - as apparently the landlord told the letting agency start of 2020, same time I renewed my contract - and  told me he had never worked with such an unprofessional lettings agency LOL!

Suffice to say I have a contract in place till March 2021 and judging by the comments on this post, I seem to be in a good spot.

Thank you once again to everybody, you guys have all been so helpful and reassuring itís crazy!!
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2020, 11:02:53 AM »

First of all, you should not pay for renewal of agreement, tenant fees for renewing an agreement are illegal according to the 2019 Tenant Act (in the UK) and second, there is no way they will be able to get you to move out if you have an agrement recently signed. However, it is possible to sell a property while is tenanted.
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2020, 12:45:47 PM »

illegal according to the 2019 Tenant Act (in the UK)

Last I checked, Northern Ireland is still part of the UK. ;) And three different pieces of legislation banned fees seperately in England, Wales, and Scotland, not all of them were from 2019, and none of them were called Tenant Act.  ;D
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