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Category Archives: Readers problems

Readers problems

How can we get the tenants to leave so we can sell the property?

housesHere is a question to the blog clinic  from AB who is a landlord

We had tenants move into our flat November 2013 on a standard 12 month AST. We have just had an offer on the property but the prospective buyer wants to live in it them self.

Where do we stand on giving the tenants notice? Could they simply refuse to move before the end of the tenancy agreement?

We are having financial problems and want to sell the flat ourselves rather than go down the repossession route.

I am afraid there is nothing you can do. legally, to get the tenants to leave before the end of the fixed term if they do not want to go.

One way to think of it, is that you have already ‘sold’ the right to occupy the flat – to your tenants – for 12 months in exchange for the monthly rent.

So you cannot sell the right to occupy the flat again during the period of the tenancy –  as it is already sold.  All you can sell is what you have at the moment -  which is the right to receive rent and get the property back after the end of the fixed term.

Even at the end of the fixed term – if the tenants want to stay on they can.  The only way you can force them to leave is by getting a court order for possession.

If the tenants fall into arrears of rent, you may be able to evict them during the fixed term.  Otherwise you can only evict them after the fixed term is over by the usual section 21 procedure.  You don’t get any special rights because you want to sell the property.

You can always see if the tenants will go if you pay them – although if you are in financial difficulties you may not be able to afford this.

The other alternative is to see if you can sell the property to another landlord as an ‘investment property’ with the tenants in situ.  Someone over at the Property Tribes forum may be able to advise you about this.

If you want some free guidance on evicting tenants this site will help.

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The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

Legal Services

Legal services are provided via Tessa's online service Landlord Law. Some advice services are provided by Tessa, other legal services are provided by specialist housing firm Anthony Gold.


The purpose of this blog is to provide information, comment and discussion. Although Tessa, or guest bloggers, may from time to time, give helpful comments to readers' questions, these can only be based on the information given by the reader in his or her comment, which may not contain all material facts. Any comments or suggestions provided by Tessa or any guest bloggers should not therefore be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any actual legal issue or dispute.

Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a solicitor-client relationship (apart from the Fast Track block clinic service - so far as the questioners only are concerned).

Guest bloggers

Please note that any opinion expressed by a guest blogger is his or hers alone, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tessa Shepperson, or the other writers on this blog.

Other websites from Tessa

Lodger Landlord | School for Landlords | Google+ | Your Law Store | Google | Landlord Law facebook page | Tenancy Agreements Manual | How to Evict Your Tenant website | the Which Tenancy Agreement Guide | Landlords Tips | Tenants Tips