Do You Need To Sell With Sitting Tenants?

Many property owners and landlords dread the idea of how they should sell with sitting tenants. You might be worried about the rules surrounding protected tenancy,? Or you may be looking to minimise conflict with difficult sitting tenants. No matter the particulars of your situation, it’s definitely possible to sell . Especially if you are ready to consider a stress-free, fast sale for cash.

At SellQuickly.com, we arrange confidential, straightforward cash sales for properties that have the need to sell with sitting tenants. The nature of our company means we can guarantee no void periods. You won’t need to concern yourself with the possibility of lost rent money. We have a wealth of experience in evaluating houses and flats with sitting tenants. This makes it easy for us to work out the value of your property and make you an offer. However, it’s normal to have questions. Below, we’ll tell you all the key facts you need to know about how to sell with sitting tenants.

What Is A Sitting Tenant?

A sitting tenant is anyone who is renting space in your property when you begin the sale process. All landlords have a standing contact with their sitting tenants. It stipulates the tenant is allowed to continue staying in the property once ownership passes to someone else. Right now, the number of properties that have sitting tenants within them is higher than ever. This has spiked in particular over the last 5-10 years. 

If you own a property that currently has a sitting tenant, you may have thought you weren’t eligible to apply for a quick sale with a cash buyer. Happily, this is a common misconception; we’re keen to take on all sorts of properties, including those with sitting tenants. We’ll summarise what we can offer below.

Is My Tenant A Sitting Tenant?

It’s a lot easier for a house or flat to sell with sitting tenants. We have significant cash reserves that allow us to purchase a range of properties, whether empty or occupied. When we make an agreement to buy your tenanted property, you then get virtually immediate access to cash that has been tied up in owning this home. Your responsibilities as a landlord are removed. Then we take responsibility for the tenants so that you don’t need to. We’ll go to the work of getting them to vacate the property before a sale.

Crucially, you don’t have any legal obligation to tell your sitting tenants that you intend to sell. We can value your property at a distance, no visit required, so tenants are none the wise. Along with providing you this privacy, we have more experience on hand. We know what we’re doing when it comes to negotiating with tenants who instigate conflict or are tough to remove. In sum, we’ll be keen to make you an offer no matter what your setup with tenants might be.

Regulated Tenancies

Where a sitting tenant has a regulated tenancy, they have a guarantee that eviction will only occur in very rare situations – regulated tenancies come with the right to stay in that property for life. As well as protection from eviction, regulated tenants pay rent to a private landlord and have the right to make direct appeals against rent hikes to rental assessment bodies. Consequently, their rent is usually lower than it is for comparable properties in the area. This represents the pay a “fair rent” set by a rent officer. Most such tenancies were secured after 1977 and before the end of January 1989, as this period of time is governed by the Rent Act 1997 (and lettings thereafter are governed by the Housing Act 1988).

Life agreement tenants

A life agreement tenant is one who has the legal right to live in your property for the rest of their life. This then may prevent you as the property owner from selling the property. This is a tricky situation for a landlord, as the tenant will only leave if they want to – there are hardly any circumstances in which they can be evicted. That said, houses and flats with lifetime tenants are still attractive to property buyers.  

If you own a house or flat with a lifetime tenancy, you’re eligible to conduct a fast sale for cash. We simply need a few key details about your property in order to assess its market value. We’ll use this and comparable market research to make you an appropriate offer. As with AST’s and protected tenants, we have the expertise and experience required to take on properties with lifetime tenancies.

Assured tenants

Where a sitting tenant has an assured tenancy, this tenancy comes with a guarantee that eviction will only occur in very rare situations. As well as protection from eviction, assured tenants pay rent to a private landlord have the right to make direct appeals against rent hikes to rental assessment bodies. Most such tenancies were secured after 1989 and before the end of 1997, but assured tenancy was also built into some rental agreements after 1997. 

If you own a property where there is an assured tenancy, it’s possible for you to make an agreement with the tenants for the tenancy to end. Of course, you can also instigate eviction if there are special circumstances. However, in most cases, your power is very limited.

That’s where we come in. We are happy to take on houses and flats with assured tenants, and we will do so in complete confidence.

Tenants with informal agreements

Most tenants will sign a contract with the landlord or letting agency when they agree to move into a property. This contract will contain all the details about what the landlord owes the tenant, and vice versa. Nevertheless, there are outlier cases in which there is a tenancy with no contract. Sometimes, there was a contract many years ago, but it has been lost throughout a tenant’s long tenure in a property.

At other times, the tenancy has always been informal, perhaps because the tenant is renting from a family member. In addition, there are rare instances in which tenants get into the property before being given a contract, and then refuse to meet requests to complete that contract. In terms of legality, the fact there isn’t a signed contract doesn’t mean anything significant. The fact that there is a verbal agreement is enough to imbue the landlord and the tenant with all of the same legal roles and rights. 

We take on houses and flats in which the current tenants only have such informal agreements with their landlords. We have a wealth of experience handling informal tenancies, with no impact on our interest in buying your property. Once you make the sale, you’re free to move on from any need to stay in touch with your tenants.

Frequently asked questions:

Is it possible to sell a property with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement in place?

We can provide two different routes if you need to sell a house or flat with an AST.

Option one is for you to sell quickly to us right away. In this case, we will bear responsibility for your old property’s sitting tenant up to the end of their agreement.

The second option is to make an agreement with us to sell the property, but only go through with the sale after the AST is over. 

We want to reassure you that our offers don’t vary in accordance with the fine print of a particular AST. We buy all sorts of properties with every type of sitting tenant you can imagine – any many of those are tenants who are covered by AST agreements.

What are the rights of a sitting tenant?

You’re not obligated to let tenants know about a forthcoming sale. If they find out then it is their right to turn in their notice and plan to leave the property. While that notice is being served, the landlord must still keep up with mortgage payments until a successful sale goes through. However, it is tricky to arrange a sale when you have sitting tenants. For one thing, they might not want to help you sell the property. They may even leave the property dirty or messy during viewings. On top of this, they can decline anyone from seeing your property while it is up for sale. Naturally, this reduces the amount of interest you attract.

A further complexity is the mortgage lenders are disinclined to lend unless buyers approach them about an empty property.

What are the benefits of selling your tenanted property to us?

When you need to sell quickly, we have the expertise needed to conduct a quick cash sale, even when you need to sell with sitting tenants.

We don’t charge estate agency fees, there’s no need for serving notices. We will remove the risk of void periods and of paying council tax on empty homes. You will also never need to give any further thought to your old property or your former tenants. 

No matter what you need, get in touch with us today for a confidential discussion with one of our team members. We’ll happily make you an offer with no pressure to accept. At worst, you’ll walk away with more information about the value of your property, and at best you’ll make the money you need to buy a new home or invest elsewhere.