Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Should We Buy an Investment Flat with a Sitting Tenant? by Fiona McNultyOUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Should We Buy an Investment Flat with a Sitting Tenant? by Fiona McNultyOUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

Article excerpt

Q WE HAVE some savings and want to invest in a buy-to-let property for the first time. A flat which already has a tenant with an assured shorthold tenancy has been suggested to us. How does this work? A MOST residential properties are sold with vacant possession but it is possible to sell one with a tenant in occupation and the most common tenancy agreement is an assured shorthold tenancy, which often lasts for just six months.

Ensure your solicitor is aware that the tenant is to remain after you complete the purchase, so that they can investigate the terms and length of the existing tenancy and the tenant's security of tenure; if there are rent arrears; whether rent would be paid to you directly or to letting agents; if there is deposit protected under a tenancy deposit scheme, and if all the required information has been provided to the tenant. The contract would provide for the flat to be sold subject to the existing tenancy and a copy of the assured shorthold tenancy agreement should be attached to the contract. If the property is furnished, then an inventory should be prepared and also attached to the contract.

PROBLEM? legalsolutions@write to Legal & property., Derry Street, cannot be but we will try here.

When you complete the purchase the seller's solicitor should hand to your solicitor the original tenancy agreement together with an authority signed by the seller addressed to the tenant requiring them to pay the rent directly to you as the new landlord from the completion date, or to your letting agent if you have one.

Q MY BOYFRIEND and I are buying our first flat. Our solicitor says he has received the contract papers and has sent us a copy of the lease and asked if we have any queries. He says he is now carrying out his enquiries and searches. We've never seen a lease before and don't know what we are looking for. …

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