Ask us for advice

How does conveyancing work?

FREE no obligation Quote
29th November 2023

If you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out UK

When venturing into the UK property market as an investor, you might stumble upon an opportunity to acquire a property which comes with sitting tenants. This often brings a critical question to the foreground – if you buy a house with tenants, can you kick them out in the UK? The anxiety around this question isn’t without merit since dealing with ‘sitting tenants,’ as they are often called, can often be a nuanced territory requiring delicate handling.

Being an informed buyer about the rights of the tenants and your own as a landlord will significantly help you negotiate this terrain. It’s critical to comprehend that tenants have legal rights, and as the new property owner, your options may have legal constraints that need to be navigated thoughtfully. Fear not though, we at ‘My Conveyancing Specialist’ are here to guide you through this complex topic.

The Definitive Guide to Evicting Tenants After Buying a UK Property

In a nutshell; yes, after buying a property, you can evict the sitting tenants. However, this has to be within the boundaries of UK law and usually requires valid grounds such as rent arrears or providing the tenant with alternative accommodation. You are also bound to take over the rental contract from the past landlord under the existing terms.

Stay with us as we break down the legalities, explain the process, and provide you with a comprehensive overview about managing sitting tenants when buying a property in the UK.

Let’s dive in to understand the whole process of evicting a sitting tenant after purchasing a property in the UK:

Eviction Process in the UK - if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out uk infographic infographic-line-3-steps

The Legal Rights of Sitting Tenants in the UK

When you buy a property with sitting tenants in the UK, it’s important to understand that the tenants have certain legal rights. These rights are protected under UK law and must be upheld by the new property owner. In other words, if you buy a house with tenants, you can’t just kick them out without following the correct procedures.

The Right to Remain in the Property Post-Sale

The first thing to know is that a sitting tenant has the right to remain in the property even after it has been sold. This means that the new owner, or landlord by purchase, cannot use the sale of the property as a grounds for eviction. The tenant’s right to live in the property continues until the end of their fixed-term agreement.

This right is protected under the UK’s tenancy laws. As referenced on, even if the property is sold, the tenant has the right to stay in it for the entire duration of the fixed term period.

The Right to Continue the Existing Tenancy Agreement

Another crucial right of a sitting tenant is the right to continue the existing tenancy agreement. This means that the new owner can’t force any new terms on them. The buyer effectively takes over the obligations of the old landlord, including respecting the terms of the existing tenancy agreement.

If the owner wishes to make changes to the agreement, such as increasing the rent or changing other terms, they must follow the proper procedures for doing so, which usually involves giving the tenant proper notice and obtaining their agreement.

The Right to Exclusive Occupation Until Tenancy Termination

Finally, a sitting tenant has the right to exclusive occupation of the property until the tenancy is legally terminated. This means that they have the right to live in the property without the landlord intruding on their privacy or attempting to use the property for their own purposes.

This right also applies to new landlords who’ve purchased the property. They can’t use the property for their own purposes, or enter the property without proper notice, until the tenant’s agreement has ended and they’ve vacated the property.

In conclusion, understanding these rights is crucial if you’re thinking of purchasing a property with sitting tenants in the UK. It’s not as simple as “buying a property and kicking the tenants out”. There are legal processes and tenant rights to consider, which is where we, at My Conveyancing Specialist come in to provide expert guidance and support.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the process of evicting tenants after buying a property and how to handle this in a legal and respectful manner.

The Process of Evicting Tenants After Buying a Property

Once you’ve bought a property with sitting tenants, you might be wondering, “if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out in the UK?” The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as just asking them to leave. It involves a legal process and legitimate grounds for eviction.

Understanding the Grounds for Eviction

In the UK, the landlord must have valid grounds for eviction. There are several conditions that can warrant eviction, like non-payment of rent, damage to the property, or violation of the tenancy agreement.

However, if the tenant has an ongoing contract or agreement with their original landlord, they retain the right to live in the property when it changes hands. The new landlord – that is, you – are obligated to accept the tenants until the fixed-term agreement expires.

The Legal Procedure for Evicting Tenants

If you have valid grounds for eviction, you must follow the legal procedure to avoid unlawful eviction. This typically involves serving a formal notice to the tenant, either a Section 21 notice for no-fault evictions or a Section 8 notice if there are specific grounds such as rent arrears.

The tenant has the right to challenge the eviction, and if they do not willingly leave, you may have to apply to the court for a possession order. Only bailiffs or high court enforcement officers can forcibly remove tenants from a property.

The Role of Conveyancing Solicitors in Tenant Eviction

Dealing with tenant eviction can be a complex and challenging process. That’s where we, at My Conveyancing Specialist, can assist. Our skilled conveyancing solicitors guide you through the legal procedures, ensuring you adhere to the rules and avoid potentially costly mistakes.

They handle all the legal paperwork, communicate with the tenants on your behalf, and if necessary, represent you in court proceedings.

Moreover, when buying a property with sitting tenants, our solicitors can review the tenancy agreements and advise you on the tenants’ rights and your obligations as the new landlord, offering peace of mind throughout the entire process.

Evicting tenants after buying a property in the UK can be a tricky process. But with the right legal advice and assistance, you can navigate this process successfully while respecting the rights of the tenants.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Property with Sitting Tenants

When considering if you should buy a house with tenants, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision. This decision could significantly impact your experience as a landlord, especially when it comes to the question if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out UK.

Advantages: Immediate Rental Income and Known Tenant History

The first and most apparent advantage of buying a property with sitting tenants is the potential for immediate rental income. From the very first day of ownership, you’ll be earning rent, which can help offset the costs associated with the property purchase. This immediate cash flow can be a significant advantage, especially for landlords who rely on rental income for their livelihood or investment returns.

There’s also the benefit of having a known tenant history. When you buy a property with sitting tenants, you’ll have access to rental records, and potentially, a history of the tenant’s behaviour. This information can provide valuable insights into the reliability of your rental income and the potential for any issues down the line.

Disadvantages: Limited Freedom to Alter Tenancy Terms and Property Use

On the flip side, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. One of the main drawbacks is limited freedom to alter tenancy terms and property use. When you buy a property with sitting tenants, you essentially step into the shoes of the previous landlord, inheriting the existing tenancy agreement. This means you’ll likely be bound by the terms of that agreement, including the rent amount, until it comes to an end.

Additionally, the tenant in situ might not be a good fit for your operating model. You haven’t chosen the tenant yourself, so they may not align with your expectations or preferences as a landlord. It’s also important to note that evicting tenants can be a difficult and expensive process, especially if they are protected under specific tenancy agreements.

Lastly, it’s worth considering that lenders might be reluctant to finance a property with a tenant in situ. They may view it as a higher risk, meaning you might need to find a specialist lender, work with a broker, or possibly put up a higher deposit.

As you can see, the question of if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out UK is more complex than it may initially seem. It’s crucial to fully understand the implications before making a decision. At My Conveyancing Specialist, we can help guide you through these complexities, ensuring that you make the most informed decision for your unique circumstances.

Selling a Property with Sitting Tenants: A Viable Option?

When it comes to the question, ‘if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out UK’, it’s worth considering a different perspective. What happens when you’re selling a property that already has tenants? This is a common scenario and can be a viable option for many landlords.

The Benefits of Selling with a Tenant in Situ

Selling a property with a sitting tenant – or a tenant in situ – can have several advantages, especially when marketing the property as an investment opportunity.

  • Maintaining Cash Flow: As a seller, you can continue receiving rental income from the tenant right up until the sale date. This can be a more cost-effective route, ensuring a steady cash flow during the selling process.
  • Attracting Property Investors: The property becomes attractive to potential buyers who are property investors. These buyers are often ready to complete the purchase with cash and are not part of complicated property chains, which can expedite the selling process.
  • Immediate Rental Income for Buyer: The new landlord inherits a ready-to-rent property and can start receiving rental income from day one. They don’t have to spend money preparing the property for a new tenant or worry about vacant periods without rental income.

investor buying property with tenant - if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out uk

The Challenges of Selling a Property with Sitting Tenants

While selling with a tenant in situ can be advantageous, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

  • Arranging Viewings: Selling a property with a tenant means that the estate agent and potential buyers cannot just turn up unannounced for viewings. Every viewing must be arranged with the tenant, which can add an extra layer of coordination and potential delays to the selling process.
  • Limiting Potential Buyers: While appealing to property investors, having a tenant in situ can put off a significant portion of the market: owner-occupiers. Most home purchases in the UK are homes bought to move into immediately. Prospective buyers may not wish to go through the process of evicting tenants after buying the property.
  • Potential for Longer Sale Period: In areas with low rental interest or weak buy-to-let investment, properties with sitting tenants could potentially take longer to sell.

At My Conveyancing Specialist, we understand the intricacies of selling a property with sitting tenants. Our expert conveyancing solicitors can provide tailored advice and guide you through the process, ensuring that your interests are well looked after.

Practical Tips for Handling Tenants When Buying a Property

Buying a property with tenants in situ can be a daunting prospect. However, with the right approach, it can also be a smooth process that benefits both parties. Below, we’ve provided some practical tips to help you navigate this process effectively.

Communicating with Tenants During the Sale Process

Open and clear communication is key to maintaining a positive landlord-tenant relationship. If you buy a house with tenants, can you kick them out UK? The answer depends largely on the tenancy agreement and the tenant’s rights. However, instead of moving to eviction, a better approach is to establish an open dialogue with the tenant.

Try to arrange an informal chat with the tenant before the completion of the purchase. This can be a good opportunity to learn more about them, their future plans, and any issues they might have with the property. Be respectful of the tenant’s rights throughout the process, as creating a positive relationship can make the transition much smoother.

Arranging for Property Inspection and Survey

A property inspection is crucial when buying a house with tenants. While video tours and brochures can provide a general idea, nothing beats an in-person inspection. The tenant must be given 24-hours’ notice in writing before a viewing can take place. Be respectful and considerate of the tenant’s time and privacy during this process.

Pay close attention to the state of the property during the inspection. This includes checking for potential issues such as damp, faulty electrics, and any signs of infestation. This gives you a clear idea of any maintenance issues that will become your responsibility after the purchase.

Managing the Handover of Tenancy on Completion

Upon completion of the purchase, arrangements need to be made for the handover of the tenancy. This often takes place on a rent payment date to avoid the need for apportioning rental income between the seller and the buyer.

If the rent is being collected by a letting agency and you decide to retain their services, no changes in payment arrangements need to be made. Otherwise, your conveyancing solicitor will obtain a letter of authority from the seller requesting the tenant to pay rent in future to you.

It’s also crucial to arrange for the transfer of any tenant’s deposit. Make sure to notify the tenant of the change of landlord and of any new arrangements for future rent payments.

At My Conveyancing Specialist, we work with a team of experienced conveyancing solicitors who can guide you through the process of buying a property with sitting tenants, ensuring a smooth transition and a positive start to your new landlord-tenant relationship.

Conclusion: Balancing Tenant Rights with Landlord Interests

When you’re considering the question, ‘if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out UK’, it’s crucial to understand that the answer revolves around a delicate balance between tenant rights and landlord interests. UK law is designed to protect tenants’ rights, especially those with ongoing contracts or agreements, and these rights persist even when a property changes hands. As the new landlord, you inherit the previous landlord’s obligations and the tenant’s right to remain in the property.

However, this doesn’t mean you’re without options. As a landlord, you have a legal right to evict tenants under certain circumstances, such as rent arrears or when you can provide them with other accommodation. Importantly, these eviction processes must adhere to established rules to prevent unlawful eviction.

Buying a property with sitting tenants can offer advantages, such as immediate rental income and a known tenant history, but it also comes with challenges. For example, you’ll have limited freedom to alter tenancy terms and the property’s use. Therefore, depending on your plans for the property, waiting for vacant possession may be a better option for you.

At My Conveyancing Specialist, we believe in balancing the rights and interests of both parties. We understand that buying a property with sitting tenants can be a complex process, and we’re here to help you navigate it. Our experienced conveyancing solicitors can guide you through every step, from understanding your legal rights and obligations as a new landlord to ensuring a smooth handover of tenancy upon completion.

Remember, a successful landlord-tenant relationship is built on communication, respect, and a clear understanding of each party’s rights and responsibilities. So, whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned property investor, we’re here to help you make the most of your investment while ensuring fair treatment for your tenants.

In conclusion, buying a property with sitting tenants needn’t be a daunting prospect. With the right guidance and support, you can successfully navigate the process, protect your interests, and maintain a harmonious relationship with your tenants.

UK landlord and tenant - if you buy a house with tenants can you kick them out uk

Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in your property journey.