A Guide to Sitting Tenants

Sitting tenants can be a problem for landlords, particularly those looking for a quick property sale. Many prospective buyers will be put off by the fact that you have a sitting tenant in the property you are trying to sell.

Many landlords do not have the time, patience or money to factor in the life expectancy of the occupier, and fluctuations in the property market may mean that you are unable to sell when your properties value is at its highest. The value of your property whilst inhabited by a sitting tenant is usually only a fraction of its real worth in the open market.

This leaves landlords with a real dilemma! Sell for a fraction of the true value or play the waiting game and be unable to cash in on your investment? Luckily, Swift Capital can buy your house fast, even if you have tenants for life. We´ve even compiled a Tenants Timeline so you can see where you and your occupiers currently stand.

Sitting Tenants – A Legislative Timeline

If your tenants were in your property before 15 January 1989, it´s more than likely that the arrangement is governed by the Rent Act 1977. Terms cannot be changed in this instance, unless the occupier can be persuaded to move on without duress, and grounds for possession or eviction are usually very limited.

Protected short-hold tenancies were introduced with the Housing Act 1980. If your tenant moved in on or after 28 November 1980, they are probably covered by this legislation. This introduced the requirement for a landlord to give a section 20 notice – meaning that the tenancy was a protected short-hold.

Assured tenancies, either full or short-hold, were introduced in the Housing Act 1988.

After 15 January 1989, assured tenants were granted security of tenure with no rent restriction, whilst assured short-holds gave no security of tenure after six months, but did provide some rent protection. Landlords had to serve a prescribed notice – else the tenancy would be deemed fully assured with protected status by default.

Further legislation changes occurred with the Housing Act 1996. Most tenancies starting after 28 February 1997 will be an assured short-hold.

If you have sitting tenants but you are looking to sell property fast, we can help. Whether you need to sell a house quickly for financial reasons, you are retiring or moving abroad, or you are simply sick of the hassle of being a landlord, we could buy your house in a matter of days.

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