Property with old tenancy

Very grateful for some general advice.

Recently bought a freehold auction property (house) in England. We are due to complete in around a week. In summary the price was low as there were no viewings, property is sold as tenanted and not sure about whether the owner is still around, auctioneer have hardly any information (inlcuding contact details of tenants) and the Assured Stanadrd tenancy agreement is around 15 years old. The rent is around half of similar properties currently. Most likely a probate and no one has much information.

This really old tenancy is in 1 name, but basic online searches do show other names with that address. I know that does not mean a lot but maybe others have or do live there or possibly sub let.

I have let out a property for many years and aware of obligations (i.e. gas, deposit, electrical etc etc) and that as soon as I complete I do a change of landlord notice.

Due to the strange scenerio and not much information available, I just want to know how people suggest I proceed. For example, once house is in my name should I knock on the door, if answered I will ask for the name of the tenancy to proceed?. What if there is no answer or if the person answering the door does not know who the person on the tenancy is?

Whether the tenant is around or not I need to start evictions proceedings, I assume this will be section 21 and currently needs 6 months notice. Should I serve that via post once I own the house?

Many thanks

I think you’ve already had some answers to this on other forums, but I would re-iterate that it is quite possible from what you describe that the property is let under a protected (Rent Act) tenancy. This would mean that the original tenant rented the property before 1989 and are either still living there or their successors are living there. If that were the case then signing an AST a few years ago would not make much difference as it would not alter their rights under that tenancy. Its also possible that it was between 1989 and 1997 and the tenancy is Assured (non-shorthold). In either case your options may be limited so your first step is to find out the history of this tenancy from the tenant themselves. You should then read about these types of tenancy and finally get a solicitor to help you, but if its a rent act tenancy, dont waste too much money on legal fees as you won’t be able to increase the rent by much or evict except in very specific circumstances.

Thanks, yes I got some answers from another forum but you have also answered it well.

I am currently trying to ascertain this information,including asking my solicitor to find out this morning,

To get to the bottom on this could take some time and a solicitor will charge a lot of money to do so. I agree that this is good due diligence, but before you commit such funds why don’t you have a word with the tenants and find out when they moved in and whether they inheritted the tenancy from anyone