Tenants in situ - Purchasing property

(Sorry think I initially posted in the wrong section)

Hi, quick background, our landlord is looking to sell up (a company that owns many properties, huge portfolio - worth upwards of 80 million - quick look on companies house) they have a buyer lined up and have served us a notice to leave the property. They no longer believe that it forms a part of their future plans and the buyer would like the property empty. We have been served a Section 21 6A notice by the estate agent selling the property to vacate by June. We have a regulated tenancy and had this issue when the property was sold previously, twice. First 2 landlords were unable to get us out, sold up, at a profit and moved on. Have written to the estate agent informing them the notice does not apply to us as our tenancy predates ASTs and Section 21 only applies to ASTs.

Property is well looked after, general wear and tear, gardens are well maintained but probably needs work doing to it - for example rewiring, plastering etc. Rent has always been paid on time and have never had any arrears.

We have no intention of leaving the property, now or anytime in the near future. We have been here for 35 years and would like to buy the property if possible. The value of the house is around the 450k mark. The current owner bought the property for around 200k 15 years ago. I have 3 of my (adult) children living with me (all adults) 2 have disabilities this home is all they know, esp my son who is severely autistic - he could never handle the change and have been informed that should anything happen to me my children have the right to inherit the tenancy although it would not be as protected as the regulated tenancy it would still hold some value.

So as tenants in situ and the possibility of the tenancy being passed on to my children obviously we have “the upper hand”.

The consensus online is that properties with tenants in situ generally sell for 20% less than market value. I would like to contact the landlord or am not sure whether instead to contact the estate agent (?) making an offer to buy the property. Obviously, I’d like to pay the least amount possible, can anybody recommend how I go about it and how to word the letter in terms of purchasing the property and what I should offer and the justification for the figure I arrived at (house was built in 1950s, was well maintained by the original landlord until sold in 2000, the new landlord who had it for 5 years upgraded the kitchen in 2005, council fit a new adapted bathroom downstairs in 2011 - which was a faff getting the current landlord to agree to as it needed to be extended - but they did eventually) other than that it needs rewiring, (no EPC - but obviously not a necessity with a regulated tenancy), replastering, new boiler - probably new radiators and windows and other general upkeep which this landlord has never done.

Any help would be greatly appreciated and sorry for waffling on, tried to keep it as brief as possible.

If you have a regulated tenancy then I think you have to take considerably more than 20% off the price. Its practically impossible to get you out or achieve anywhere near a market rent. My guess is that each of the buyers you mention were ignorant of the facts ir they would have offered far less. I would have no idea how to value it, but you should get some advice if youre planning to make them an offer.

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I would not say you have the upper hand. Depends how old you are. A buyer may think you may not live much longer and even if the tenancy pases to your children. The buyer may think it is still worthwhile as security is lessened . Depends how attractive the rent to purchase price is

Thank you for your replies.

By upper hand I meant as soon as the new landlords took over both told us that they wanted us out, the first one was under the impression that she could get us out within 30 days, ended up costing her almost 5k in solicitors fees, 6 months extra in rented accommodation and for it all to end up in our favour. So yes David you are correct it seems both were under the impression we had an AST. (I was wondering if it would be too cheeky to ask them to sell it to us for how much they had bought it - they’ve made that back through rent over the past 15 nearly 16 years, I’m assuming they paid cash because it was sold at auction. Current owners paid 200k (about 2006ish) and our neighbour recently sold his house same layout, similar state of repair for 450k, so I’m probably being too hopeful and pushing my luck a little)

I am 57 this November and the rent is around £300 less a month than similar houses around the area.

I’ve been booked into see a solicitor however my appointment has been pushed forward a few times due to half the my solicitor’s office coming down with covid.

Thank you so much again for your input.

My offer would be at least 30% off the full market value.

Firstly, make absolutely sure you do have a regulated tenancy, as 1987 just falls on the cross-over. I have some experience of “Occupancy agreements” which can contain “Get-out” clauses if the original tenancy agreement was with a housing association? The tenancy agreement can lapse if there is a clause in there saying you must remain a member of said association. Did you ever voluntarily or even inadvertently enter and sign an AST on change of landlords? If all is in order, and you do have a sustainable regulated tenancy, an offer 30% below market value would be a fair, it may go a few thousand each way, depending how long the selling landlord has been taking rent from you. On the other hand, does the prospective purchaser know you have a regulated tenancy? If he’s paying over the odds because he believes it’s an AST, then the sale could fail, or even revert due to non-disclosure. I would write to the estate agent and make sure they know you’re regulated, as they would be legally obliged to pass that information on before contracts. If the sale fails due to the regulated tenancy, and you’re dealing with a big rental company, I think they would be very quick to take an offer 30% below market value. As a bit of background, I have a property where the tenant believes they have a regulated tenancy. They don’t, but they simply won’t accept solicitor’s letters etc. They refuse to communicate on most matters, and the landlord / tenant relationship hardly exists. On the plus side, I paid 80% of the value, I have a 100% low interest mortgage, they always pay their rent on time, they hardly ever bother me, I have no keys, no fixtures and fittings and I have absolutely no use for an agent, plus the rent rises automatically above RPI inflation every year. Perfect BTL.

Hi,

Sorry for not updating. Managed to see the solicitor with my friend about a week back. They said to stay put and not do anything until the landlord starts court proceedings (he gets legal aid, maybe they make more money from him this way…? But they agree that it is a regulated tenancy.) I thought maybe contacting the estate agent and letting them know, but solicitor’s have said leave it for now.

It has always been a private rental, and none of the new landlords ever asked for a new tenancy agreement to be signed. Pretty sure the buyer thinks the tenants will be leaving as the letter from the estate agents says that they want the property empty.

Thanks for your input. Will update if anything else happens.

Thanks for the update. I’m really interested to hear the progress from your side, as it probably explains my tenant’s refusal to communicate. Would really appreciate updates. Thanks.