Buying Commercial Property with Sitting Tenants

I am buying a commercial property with sitting tenants.
Ground floor of the property is a shop and in the first floor there are 2 flats.

In the first floor flat tenant moved in more than 12 years ago and in the second one tenant moved in around 4 years ago.

Both tenants are on periodic tenancy (SPT). Their fixed AST is over a few years ago.

Seller will not vacate them.
Before I buy the property, I want to make sure that I can vacate the property as soon as I get the keys.

Will I be able to legally evict the residential tenants as soon as I get the keys?
If the tenants do not want to move out will I be able to get the help of the court to evict them?

The shop on the ground floor is on a lease. There is 2 more years left on the lease. I hope I will be able to evict the shop as well by giving notice.


You bought a place where you want to evict 3 sets of people? That will take some time

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I did not buy it yet.
Seller wants to sell it as an investment. So, he will not evict them.
So, before I start offering on the property, I want to make sure I can buy the property and then evict the tenants.

Why would you buy a commercial property with paying tenants and then try to evict them? And no, unless there’s a break clause you won’t be able evict them.

As for residential. No, you obviously cannot evict them straight away. You can possibly give notice but it will take a long time to get them out. Again, why buy a property with paying sitting tenants if you don’t want to be a LL?

You normally pay a premium for a commercial property with tenants in-situ. Better buy an empty property, lots of them around.

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I am happy to be the landlord, but I want to evict the tenants who moved in more than 10 years ago and put myown new tenants. That will give me better control than keeping the tenants who are already on the previous landlord’s SPT.

So, honestly, that sounds incredibly unnecessary. You pay more for a property where you have long-standing (i.e. good) tenants. Just don’t understand the logic behind kicking out good one’s and put “untested” in. A commercial business that has been going for 10 years it much more likely to be long-term than a new business. If you put a new, untested, business in and it fails you will have tens of thousands of pounds in unrecoverable debt.

Do you think “new” tenants are inherently better because you chose them? Especially if you’re new to this.

In the ground floor of the property there is a shop, I am ok with it.

But, I don’t want the residential tenants who are on the first floor flats (2 flats) to continue there on SPT.
I prefer to find someone new.

If I want to evict the people who live in the flats, do I need to change the tenancy agreement at the time of purchase to have it between me and the tenants?

Do I need to change the lease as well for control over the lease in case I want to make any change in the future?

So if they are on a SPT then you can’t unilaterally change their tenancy or make them sign something new.

Other LLs with more experience of this can tell you exactly the steps to take as I haven’t taken over a property with sitting tenants.

Sounds to me that you should be looking for an empty premises, why would you want to put yourself through all this grief.
You say one tenant has been there 12 years and the other 4 years, if they have been paying their rent why would you want to evict them unless you are after a far greater rent.
Another alternative explain to the seller you will complete with sitting tenants at a greatly reduced price and I do mean greatly reduced ie 30 to 40%. good luck.

I bought a placewith 2 sitting tenants . Great. After 20 years one is still there. Brilliant

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This property which I am looking at is in auction.
If it is possible I like to buy to it.

I do not want to keep the tenants whose credit checking and referencing were done years ago.
Also the rent in the area has gone up and it should be higher than what they are paying now.

I am not sure whether the tenants will be willing to sign a new tenancy agreement with me with credit checking, referencing and increased rent.
So, it will be easier to evict them and get new tenants.

When you buy a property with sitting tenants what does normally happen?

Will the sitting tenants sign a new tenancy agreement with the new landlord (buyer) or will they continue in their SPT?


So, one questions has already been answered: no, they do not need to sign anything with you. They can choose to continue.

Secondly, you can increase rent to market value by giving notice.

Thirdly, what normally happens is you keep the tenants.

But I guess you’ll have to learn the hard way.

So you want to make people who lived in a property for 12 years, basically their home, and 4 years, either tenants with no issues, potentially homeless in this current climate.

It’s landlords like you that shouldn’t be landlords. This is their home.


you could say to the landlord who is selling, why are you putting these tenants at risk? 12 and 4 years etc etc etc . homes/houses get sold and bought all the time. There is a risk to both tenants and landlords

Landlords do not loose their primary home!!!

Adequate housing is a basic human right!

People buying up properties and outpricing or marganisling people on low incomes is NOT a basic human right, it’s a privilege to own more than one property. And the minimisation of people losing their sense of safety, a place they retreat to, their home and sanctuary by landlords disgusts me.

The lack of compassion and money hungry people makes me realise their are many ethically and morally bankrupt people in this world.

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That’s a very lazy viewpoint Victoria21. You’ve jumped onto the already over-crowded bandwagon of landlord haters. Hardly either a radical or rational stance. Landlords are no more or less the problem than everyone else who participate in the system of housing as a commodity. If you own your home or aspire to then you are equally part of the problem.

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Doesn’t sound right to me, unless the tenants have not looked after the place, or the places are in need of massive renovation, why would you evict people? You can increase the rents if low vv market but gradually not a massive hike, especially now. It is a landlords right where there are genuine reasons to evict, but good tenants are hard to find. Is the property in a brilliant location for higher rents, could that be it?

Personally, I must be honest and do not like these types of deals including evictions. Do your sums and R.O.I and don’t be greedy. Stable good tenants return better income than short term tenants and constant management.

With rental properties in short supply it will be hard for them to find another property.


I agree with you, Victoria. As a landlord of over 20 years, it saddens me that people treat tenants as some sort of commodity when they are our customers and fellow human beings.

I see no problem making money from property, but not at the expense of someone else’s home and security.

If I was the OP, I would be looking for a vacant property, not evicting settled tenants.


Thanks Richard,

Statistically speaking your comment on here is an outlier, but it’s nice to know that there are individuals who see being a landlord as more than an economic return. I think I’ve come across one other landlord similar to yourself on here. Be careful the rest may come after you with pitchforks!

Not really. Most of the replies have been against this plan, either for financial or moral reasons. Landlords are no different from other groups. There’s a wide range of opinions and attitudes. We all want to make an income from our properties, but there are many who do so in a socially responsible way. Others, it’s true, are purely profit driven. For my part, I find the happier my tenants are, the less work I have and the better my bottom line.