Buying a property with tenants in situ

Hi, I am looking at buying a property with tenants in situ… anyone done this? The property is currently managed by an estate agent which I wouldn’t want to carry on, but it it possible to access their credit checks or re-do them while they still live there /before I buy to check I can get RGI with them? Also- does their deposit just get transferred to me? And can openrent sort out their new contract without them having to pay holding fees etc?
Clearly I am not sure how this works… if anyone has done this and can enlighten me I’d be grateful!

Hi Natalie, thanks for posting!

It is fairly normal for buy to let landlords to purchase a property with tenants in situ, and you are able to migrate a tenancy from another agency to OpenRent using our Rent Now tenancy creation service.

Our Help Centre article gives you full guidance on how to do this:

I’m not sure whether you will be able to access any previous credit checks on the tenants, this depends on whether they/the agent gives consent to sharing these details. It would probably be a better idea to conduct new references as the old reports may be out of date (for example if the tenants have new jobs etc).

You can purchase referencing here.

If you are looking to set up a new tenancy through OpenRent, a new deposit will need to be paid which means you should check with the current agent/tenant where the deposit is currently held and return it to the tenants as part of the closing off of the current agreement.

If you have any more questions feel free to post them here or send us an email at

Good luck in the purchase!
Thanks, Elinor


If the tenant is trying to get their deposit back from the old AST, does it mean they will need to pay my deposit first?

i.e. there will be a period where they haven’t got their old deposit back before they put in their new deposit with me on openrent?

Landlords generally require tenants to pay the security deposit before the tenancy begins. Its really the only sensible way to do it. At that point most tenants wont have received their deposit back from their orevious landlord.

I see, so is it right in thinking that the best and easiest way to take on this Tenant in Situ (assuming he’s AST is rolling and good tenant impression verbally accepted the new price) is to ensure for easiness:

Set the completion date the same date as their old AST monthly start date and payment for new month instructed to pay to you. Then do it just like as if they are newly moving in with all usual openrent process? e.g. Reference check, take new deposit, make first payment, rent guarantee if needed, EPC, EICR, Gas cert, Rent Guide, Right to rent check, Inventory, Appliance check if necessary and a new AST to sign with the new price. as simple as that?

Am I right in thinking that even if it is a tenant in situ but the conveyancing be way simpler this way so it can be treated as a Vacant Possession in which it will be called vacant because contract finish day before completion date but I start a new tenant on the completion date?

Have a look through recent forum posts for impirtant information on buying a tenanted property.


The website said for Tenant in Situ i need to close the deposit of the old AST and get a new one, But current tenant’s deposit is save in the same scheme, so what do I do? do nothing or still need to close and get a new one?

You need to open an account with one of the schemes and transfer the deposit into it. You then need to serve the tenant with the prescribed information.

From the sound of it you could do with some landlord training. If you make an admin error with the deposit, its likely to cost you a 3x deposit penalty.