If my landlord sells my rented property does this mean I have to move out?

Knocking at the doorThis is a question to the blog clinic from Elsie (not her real name), who is a tenant in England.

I lived in a rented house for over five years. I signed a one year lease and paid month to month. Two weeks ago I was told the house was going to go on the market, and it sold last week.

I have two questions:

  • How long will I have to move out, and
  • Who is responsible for evicting me – the original landlord or the new owner?

Answer

The short answer is that your rights are almost exactly the same as they were before the sale, apart from the fact that the identity of your landlord has changed.

When a tenanted property is sold, the new landlord ‘stands in the shoes’ of the old landlord and has more or less exactly the same rights and obligations.

So you don’t have to move out!

The fact that a landlord has sold the ‘reversion’ of the property (i.e. the right to get it back after your tenancy has ended) does not give the purchaser any special rights to recover possession.

As before, the landlord can only recover vacant possession of the property in two circumstances;

  • If you move out voluntarily, or
  • By using the County Court Bailiffs (or High Court Enforcement Officers) after obtaining a court order for possession.

So, to answer your questions;

  1. Unless you want to move out, you don’t have to. You can remain in the property until such time as a possession order has been made.
  2. Now the property has been sold, the person responsible for evicting you will be your new landlord.

Incidentally, when a property is sold with tenants in situ, the new landlord must formally notify the tenants, under section 3 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and tell them the new arrangements for the payment of rent.

Failure to do this is a criminal offence.

The post If my landlord sells my rented property does this mean I have to move out? appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.

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