Some friends of ours are renting an apartment. They are about halfway into a 12 month lease after having to move before xmas due to a 25% rent increase.
They were checking sales stock in their area and spotted that the apartment they are living in is actually up for sale. It definitely the same apartment. Pictures are the same from the rental ad. The ad was posted on 3rd June so it’s not an old ad that they forgot to take down.
Now their landlord has said nothing about this to them and there is no break clause in their lease to allow him to evict them in order to sell it during the lease.
They haven’t spoken to him yet.
How should they proceed?
I’d be concerned that it’s one of two things:
He’s trying to cash out and will attempt to evict them illegally in order to do so.
The bank are after him and if they repo the apartment, their tenancy rights go right out the window.
Either way, they are dealing with a dishonest character and as such, their deposit (a not inconsiderable sum of money for them) is at risk.
Suggestions. Is there any way they can find out if the bank is involved here?
I wouldn’t jump to conclusions. It’s possible that the landlord is putting it up for sale now with the idea that it can take 6 months from ad to closing.
If I was them I would speak to the landlord. He can’t sell it out from under them. Make sure he understands that they will not vacate early, so if he has any thoughts of selling before the lease is up, he can forget it.
As mr_a said, he may just need to prove to the bank that he wash;t able to sell it for more than X.
Here’s a checklist:
Is it an apartment?
Was it built/bought between 2002 and 2007?
If the answer to those two questions is “Yes”, the bank is probably involved
have you any evidence that they are dealing with a dishonest character?
So you are jumping to three negative conclusions based on nothing more than an ad on a website?
About a year ago I spotted my house which I have let out on Myhome and an EA’s website ‘for sale’ … about 3 years after I took it off the market. fortunately I don’t think my tenants spotted it, and after a couple of days and conversations with the EA it turned out that the old ad was uploaded again in error and was removed.
Anyway; since when is it dishonest to sell one’s assets? and why would any impending sale imply the deposit is at risk?
The Pin Tin Foil hat syndrome is alive and well with this one !!!
Anyway …as to how to proceed - quite obvious; call the LL and ask; generally questions get answered only when they are asked … until your friends actually pick up the phone they will never be any wiser and no amount of random web-based speculation on random forums will get the proper answer.
As your friends have been in the place for between 6 months and 4 years, they are subject to a part v tenancy.
The landlord can terminate the tenancy to sell the apartment (there are other grounds to do this also).
The landlord has to give 5 weeks notice.
That is not correct. The 1-year fixed term tenancy would give stronger rights than part iv. The tenancy cannot be terminated. Although it could be sold with tenant in situ. Unusual in a private sale I believe.
Also part iv needs to be asserted at the end of the fixed term.
If your friends wish to avoid talking to the LL about it, call the EA and enquire about the property in question. You will get a good indication as to whether it is actually for sale or whether this is merely time wasting to keep a bank happy. Ask to arrange a viewing of the property and see what the reaction is- i.e. whether the EA will arrange a viewing, or if he says he has to consult the tenants for a viewing time and never gets back to you. If a viewing is going to be arranged, the LL will have to contact your friends and have the conversation with them.
Might not be a bad idea depending on their relationship to just ask the LL straight out. As others suggested he could be planning on dragging the sale out over a few months. If his price is unrealistic, it could be a very extended sale period.
Gaius, while your friends may be loathe to move again they need to be thinking what they can extract from this situation. First things first, they should establish with the landlord what the story is. Assuming it is no mistake, then the landlord should be left with no illusions after the initial contact that your friends will exercise their right to stay in the property for as long as they are entitled. They may need to take advice on it, but I don’t believe there is anything to stop them seeing out the year, then making use of the protections of Part IV to stay a bit longer if they wish.
Of course, if it were me I’d be looking for a way out. Who wants a place they know they have to leave in x months. Unless I could leverage a decent reduction in rent I’d be looking to extract myself and move elsewhere. So perhaps they could suggest to the LL that they will facilitate viewings, and be prepared to leave when the property is sold, but only on condition that they themselves are free to go once they find a place to move to, free from any notice period obligation. One of the major pains of renting is the time pressure involved in finding a new place as you leave an old one.
Your friends only cards here are that they can stay in situ and make the property less attractive because of it, or they could extract themselves from the lease legitimately and leave the landlord rentless for the period it takes to sell (or else attempting to find a short term tenant).
+1 thankfully I think gaius knows that based on reading the first post. Been there myself done that myself with a landlord (with help from threshold). Our very own LL was very helpful also at the time when I asked about it.
No break clause - no going anywhere inside a year.
I like that idea and will suggest it to them.
I’m pretty much warning them to be careful. If the sale is serious, there’s a good chance that their deposit is at risk so they should take steps to protect themselves. Either way, putting the roof over somebody’s head for sale without the courtesy of saying it to them doesn’t suggest that the long term business relationship is likely to be a fruitful one.
Correct. I was on both sides of the fence so know tenancy law reasonably well but fast ones and the grey zone when banks get involved is not my specialty.
Ah who knows. Could be someone with a few places all in NE, coming to the end of IO periods, and the bank are at him to deleverage. But in any case, he won’t be selling it without the bank’s approval if it’s in NE (unless he has a big bag of cash to top up the sale handy).
Initial contact with the landlord: “Oh don’t you be worrying about that” and after much prodding, he finally admits that the banks are involved but refuses to say to what extent.
Advice welcomed please.
I don’t want to post on boards because both of them frequent there but I’m absolutely livid at the shitty way people just trying to get by in life get shat on in this country while fuckwads like that landlord pocket their rent.