Landlords are selling up?

I have lived in my property 4 years and have recently been approached by agents to say the owners are moving back in and served with section 21….i moved into it in 2019 for £675 per month.

The property has been rented out for 13 years and although an agency is involved, the owners and me have had a good relationship. (I have maintained their pond and all the fish this is why).

When i last spoke to them direct 2 years ago, the husband said to me “do whatever makes it your home, we are never coming back”. So obviously i was so happy. Had lights installed in the garden and other elects, build a pergola and redecorated the whole house. In December the rent got put to £725 which i was ok with.

The shock of suddenly saying “we’re moving back” when they have lived more than 300 miles away for years really dumbfounded me. I do not need to hear “nothing is certain in renting” “it’s their house they can do what they want”. I am aware of all this. Please don’t state the obvious.

I am well aware of all of this. I’m not an idiot. But I wasn’t born into any sort of privilege. It’s taken me years to rent such a wonderful house. I am really struggling to find somewhere to the same specifications which i need as i have a full house now.

I work full time, good income, professional. I have sent an email to the agency (who repeatedly ask me if i have found somewhere yet even though i said they would be the first to know when i had!) however i snapped yesterday and sent an email along the lines of:
“I’m not sure the reason for moving back and they owe me no explanation, however, if it is due to cost of living (and they live south) i am willing to increase up to £1000 a month. I asked if they could discreetly enquire?

I am being as polite as I possibly can be. I know it’s their house but it is my home.

  • Have i no hope?


I would suggest paying a few pounds on the Land Registry website to buy a copy of the title deeds for the property. This will give you the owners’ home address so you can write to them directly and open a negotiation, circumventing the agent who is less likely to be flexible or humane.

£725 does sound incredibly cheap, but of course I do not know area, is this the going rate?

Your increase sounds like a reasonable idea. Are you sure you won’t feel like you’d be paying this begrudgingly if they accept should it not really be worth this amount?

If the rent is low then the “moving in” story could just be a screen for upping the rent considerably to someone else. Agents sometimes have a hand in this.

As last comment said, writing direct to owners may get you further.


It depends where in the UK you want to rent.

It might be in Northumberland where even today £700pm will get you a nice 3-bed house!

But prices have really risen since 2019 and it seems likely the rent could now easily be 20% below the market.

£1000 would be a good offer though - maybe even too good, no need to go in with your maximum.

It just seems odd that a landlord would claim to want to move back in to the property if really what they wanted was more rent. Surely they would attempt to negotiate the increase with the existing tenants first, if they were generally happy. Why would they risk a void period and other expenses and then unknown new tenants if they didn’t need to?

So maybe they really are looking to move back into the property. Are the landlords elderly, and would the property be suitable for their retirement? Do they have children or other relatives in the area? That would be one explanation for why they want the agents to give you notice without wanting to have to deal with you directly.

1 Like

People’s life circumstances change, including landlords. To be honest, with the government wanting to scrap s21, then it becomes less attractive to have long-term tenants in a property. Now I only consider transient people like foreign students as I know there will be a natural break in their occupancy, but I would not want a family and in particular children because if in the future I want to sell the house, how will I get them out? This is especially the case with your house as clearly they are “accidental” landlords renting out their own family home (hence the fish) so they may well be concerned that the scrapping of s21 means they lose control over it.

1 Like

@Graham How have you found tenant quality to be doing this? Rent payments on time and consistent?

Yes from what i have ascertained today they want to move back in. Thanks for all the replies.

1 Like

I only have 2 places, so far so good, but the properties are close to 2 universities so its easier to find this kind of tenant. I guess I do this because my own sister falls into the other category, single mother with kids, and from speaking to her I know how hard it would be to get her out if her landlord ever wanted to sell up, and I also grew up in the 1970s in a private rented house which was unusual then, and I am not sure what happened to the rules but the landlord somehow ended up being forced to sell the house to my mum in the 1980s (who could not afford it, but luckliy we four kids chipped in to pay), hence I have a certain paranoia about landlords being returned to their 1970s status as pariahs. Based on my sister’s experience I know there are situations where the landlord and tenant become so entangled that the landlord stops putting up the rent in exchange for never doing any repairs to the property. The rent then comes well below market and when tenant has to leave they get a massive shock as the true market rent is far higher than what they got used to paying.

Depending which area, but in lomdon and nearby area 1 bedrooms share house rent is £700, so now understand how much now this day full house rent, last few months i am looking 2 beds house in dagenham area and rent is £1600 and this is now property’s rent so i this £1000 is good offers.

try and speak directly to the landlord, you are spot on with this.

as suzy said many LL’s are selling up due to the overburden of legislation.

the reality is if a tenant refuses to go there is little a LL can do except sit back and wait a year while the courts go at a snails pace so the LL would do well to have a chat

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.