Upon marriage, a couple had moved into the house that one of them owned, and rented out the one that the partner had owned.
The case at a glance:
A couple were happily renting out their second property to a family
They both lost their jobs in quick succession
They needed to sell their rental property but after ten years, felt a strong loyalty to the current tenant
They had rented the second house out to a family for 10-11 years and were very happy with the setup.
They had started a family themselves and were starting to find their own home too small. They planned for an extension to accommodate their growing family.
Sadly that is, until both of them lost their jobs in a short space of time.
With the cost of being a landlord getting more and more expensive through changes in legislation, rising mortgage rates and rising…everything! The couple found themselves now with not only the extension off the cards, but suddenly struggling to pay their mortgage.
The couple were extremely upset by the idea of telling the other family that they had to leave their family home, the felt a loyalty to the tenants and a responsibility not to sell if it meant they would be evicted.
Even if they weren’t burdened by this loyalty, a tenant eviction process is a long and drawn-out one. If you’ve gotten even one piece of paperwork wrong in the initial tenant sign-on process (which was now a decade ago!) then you will find it extremely difficult to force possession of your rental property if your tenants don’t go quietly.
So, the couple got in touch with me because they’d seen through my social media that I will buy properties with tenants in-situ.
We chatted through all their options I made it clear that if they were willing to move the tenants out, they would get more money for the property on the open market, but they had neither the heart or the time to go through that process.
But far from a simple purchase after this point, the couple made me aware that their tenant was currently off work with anxiety and other mental health issues, so we collectively made the decision to not tell her the house was going to be sold until they were sure.
So when I went to view the property it was under the guise of a remortgage inspection. I don’t like being dishonest, but there was a genuine concern from the couple that the news of a sale would cast uncertainty and worsen the health issues the tenant was currently facing, I stand by the decision as the right one to be made in those circumstances.
Once the sale had gone through, myself and the previous owner popped round to my new tenant’s home to tell her I was her new landlord. I went bearing gifts! And we explained that nothing was going to change – an agreement of our sale was that the family would remain in the property and the rent would remain the same, too.
The previous owner showed the tenant all the references he’d got on me prior to working with me, and we phoned two of my current tenants while we were there for her to chat to about my virtues as a landlord!
The only change the tenant saw was that we installed a new boiler and double glazing after completion of the sale, something the property was in desperate need of. And I’m very happy to say that this family is still a tenant of mine 6 six years down the line.
Whilst there’s not a hard and fast rule for purchasing properties with tenants in situ, my approach is always to handle it in a way that’s appropriate for the tenant without stress or worry that they might lose their home.
I’m Joanne. I’ve lived and breathed property for longer than I care to remember! This blog provides advice and support with problems surrounding property, and life in general.
Previously on the blog…
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A lovely lady had inherited her Sister’s house in Westcliff after she sadly passed away - a bungalow with serious damp problems. Lucy’s case at a glance: Inherited a property from her sister Couldn't afford to keep the property running Didn’t understand the...read more
If you’re considering selling your home to a ‘sell your home quick’ company, then you’re probably reading this because you’re in research mode - which is great! Selling your home is huge full stop, but the speed at which these sales go through adds an extra level of...read more