Q: I am a landlord looking to sell my property. Currently there is a tenant in the property on an assured shorthold tenancy who is worried about having a new landlord and what this will mean for her. How will this affect my sale of the property and does the tenant have any rights?
A: Firstly, an assured shorthold tenancy will survive any sale and remain valid. The tenant will have the right to stay living at the property until the date stipulated in the tenancy agreement. Once the property has been sold, you must give notice to the tenant of the new landlord and the new landlord must respect and abide by the tenancy agreement. The new landlord will not be able to change the rent without following proper procedures.
You should check the tenancy agreement for the amount of notice required to be given by you to the tenant before you enter the property with any potential purchaser. If the tenancy agreement does not include any provision for this you must provide the tenant with reasonable notice, usually 24 hours. A tenant does however have the right to peaceful enjoyment of your rented property and therefore they are free to close the door to anyone they don’t want in their home. They are not obliged to let in estate agents, prospecting buyers or other persons for viewing purposes. You must obtain the tenant’s permission before you enter onto the property with or without any potential purchaser.
The tenant’s deposit must also be transferred to the new landlord and they must protect it through a recognised tenancy deposit scheme. If the property is in Wales, you should have already registered as a landlord with Rent Smart Wales and this is also something that the new landlord will be required to do in order to comply with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.