Buying a house with tenants on a rolling contract


I am buying a house that is converted into 2 flats ( freehold was never converted into leases). I will be living in the top flat while the existing tenants will remain underneath. I wish to evict them eventually and turn the property back in to a house. I have spoken to them and they want to go through the process since they are waiting to be housed by the council but will not get a house until they have become homeless.

The tenants are currently on a periodic assured shorthold tenancy. When I become the new landlord after completion can I start a completely new contract with new and different terms ( e.g. rent increase, share of garden etc) then serve then notice at the 4 month period. Or am I bound by the terms of the previous tendency.

I have not idea if they paid a deposit or it was protected. What does this mean for their existing tenancy and them as tenants ?


Hi, thanks for your post. I’m going to work on the assumption that your property is in England or Wales.

You can set up a new contract after you take ownership of the property - you would need to agree this with the tenants. If the tenants are unhappy with e.g. a rent increase, they don’t have to agree to it and could serve notice under the current contract to move out.

If you sign a new tenancy agreement (assuming you sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, like the one we provide:, then the soonest you would be able to serve notice is for it to end after 6 months - at 4 months into the tenancy you can serve 2 months notice.

You need to ensure that if there is a deposit attached to the current tenancy, that it is properly protected. Likewise, any deposit taken for the new tenancy would have to be protected in a government-approved scheme.

It’s worth speaking with the vendor of the property, as they will be well placed to answer any questions regarding the existing tenancy i.e. the deposit.

Please note that we’re not legally trained here at OpenRent, so the above is not legal advice. If you’re signed up with us though, just drop the team a message and we can give you details of our legal partner who will be happy to advise on this.


Im buying a tenant in situ property but wanted it vacant. Have now decided to let tenant stay at an incresaed amount…the vacated day was 2/2/22 but happy for tenant to not move out and nearly ready to complete…can i still purchase with vacant possesion (tenant not move out) and just issue new ast on completion date?


i guess its too late but if you want the whole house i would have explored buying it with vacant possession or getting tenants out before moving in. it might work out well but it could also turn out to be a whole lot of heartache

You cant force the tenant to sign a new tenancy agreement. Letting property is now steeped in regulations and laws that you are in danger of breaking unless you are an experienced landlord. This is not a good idea in my view. I wouldnt go ahead unless I could get vacant possession.