What Are Sitting Tenants And What Are Their Rights?
As more of the UK’s tenants rent for the long-term, the number of so-called ‘sitting tenants’ is on the rise.
A sitting tenant is a renter living in a property that their landlord decides to sell. If the tenant has an ongoing contract or agreement with their original landlord, then they retain the right to live in the property when it changes hands.
Some landlords actively look to purchase properties with sitting tenants as it could offer a settled and more reliable proposition if the tenants have already been living in the property for a long time.
In fact, according to Countrywide, the proportion of properties with sitting tenants purchased by landlords reached a ten-year high in 2015.
The letting agency’s research found that sitting tenants tend to have lived in their home significantly longer than the average tenant. For example, a quarter had signed contracts of two years or longer, compared to 5% of tenants overall.
A landlord taking on a sitting tenant will have the right to review the fair rent every two years (or before if significant improvements have been made), but they won’t be able to conduct this review themselves. The review, instead, will be carried out by a rent officer.
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Who Buys Houses With Sitting Tenants?
If you are looking to buy a property with tenants in situ, you can expect to pay considerably less for the house or flat in question. This can present a great opportunity for those who are willing and able to wait out the tenancy, as the property will jump back to market value once the current sitting tenant is no longer in situ.
The main issue buyers come up against when purchasing a property with tenants in situ is financing. Many lenders will be unwilling to lend on a property with sitting tenants, so cash house buyers are likely your best option. That said, as this scenario is happening more frequently and lenders are competing against each other in the current buy-to-let market, things are changing. Nonetheless cash home buyers like Gaffsy remain one of the best ways to sell a property with a sitting tenancy because as cash buyers they don’t need a mortgage.
Selling A Property With Tenants In Situ
While it may seem like a complicated affair, selling a property with a sitting tenant is possible, and doesn’t need to be as much of a headache as it would first appear. This is especially true if you have a longstanding, happy relationship with your tenant.
The majority of tenants will respect your decision, even if they don’t like it, and allow you to proceed without incident. Of course, there will always be some who’ll make things difficult for the landlord, but that must simply be put down to the cost of doing business. Even in such situations, all is not lost, and going through the necessary procedures to make the sale happen could well be worth the hassle. If you do have problematic tenants you can reach out to Gaffsy, as they purchase properties with tenants in situ even difficult ones, and benefit from their experience in acquiring problem properties. Gaffsy is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.
Recent data suggests that the average time to sell from the first day of marketing to completion day is around 129 days, that’s four months without rent if you choose to serve notice and market your property as vacant. While you may have to sell for less, it’s important to run the numbers before acting hastily. Selling with tenants in situ could actually be the better option.
If you don’t want to wait months to sell your property or have problematic tenants then you should consider reaching out to a cash buying company. Selling to Gaffsy means a fast, speedy sale allowing you to sell your property with sitting tenants quicker than if you were selling though an estate agent.
What About A Regulated Tenancy?
A regulated tenancy is a long-term agreement between a tenant and a private landlord. These agreements date-back to before 15th January 1989 and offer the tenants a right to remain in the property for life.
Often the rent for regulated tenants can be much less than current rental values for the same kind of property with an Assured Shorthold tenancy (AST) in place, and therefore offers a different investment model to a landlord. This can make selling properties with regulated tenancies difficult as they often require specialised buyers. One of the best ways to sell a regulated tenancy is to a cash property buyer. Gaffsy have bought a number regulated tenancies and when you sell to them you benefit from their experience in doing so guaranteeing you the easiest, fastest and most stress free way of selling your property.
Right Of Succession
Another factor to consider when looking at buying a property with a regulated tenant in situ is whether there are any rights of succession. Depending on the particular agreement, in some cases the next of kin can acquire a right of succession where they take over the tenancy on an ‘assured’ basis. Whilst this does require them to now pay market rent, they will continue to hold the right to remain in residence for life, rendering them a ‘life tenant’.
Like with all investment models, there are pros and cons to buying a property with a regulated tenant in place and further information can be found in this Government handbook – but as always, it is important that you carry out full due-diligence to understand the specific circumstances of what exactly it is that you are buying.
It can be even more difficult to sell regulated tenancies with rights of succession because the property will most likely not be vacant for decades. However, Gaffsy buys property with regulated tenancy in situ and rights of succession, so click the link below for a free no obligation valuation.
* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.
* Gaffsy is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.
* You are guaranteed a quick sale when you sell to Gaffsy. With no delays that you may often associate with an estate agent.
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