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3 year agreement but landlord is selling 18 mths in

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58 views 2 replies latest reply: 15 November 2016
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Tenant

Ok long story… We moved into this property in 2013, a year later the landlord decided to change from 6 mth rolling tenancy to monthly as he wanted to sell the property.  As a family with young children we decided to move to a more secure tenancy but the area was a lot worse and the house was smaller.  8 months down the line we were contacted by the letting agents with an offer of a guaranteed 3 years tenancy if we agreed to move back into the property.  My husband was miserable in the new property so we agreed and moved back in.  Now 18 months later he has contacted us via the letting agents to say the we have to vacate the property as his interest only mortgage is up in April and he is unable to get a new mortgage due to his age.  If the property does not sell before then it will be reposessed.  He obviously knew the date his mortgage was up when he offered us the 3 year tenancy, which he is now refusing to honor due to his financial situtation.  Where do we stand legally on this? As far as I am concerned he committed fraud when he offered us 3 years knowing he would need to end the tenancy in less than 2 due to the mortgage.

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Tenant

Okay, 

How was this three-year tenancy promised / offered to you ? Is there any reference in the tenancy agreement ? In fact, what kind of tenancy do you have ? Have you even signed a new tenancy agreement ? 

I’m asking all these questions because the only way your landlord can legally offer you a 3-year tenancy is to draft it in the tenancy agreement. If it says 3 years on the contract, nobody can evict you.

Assuming you rent using an assured shorthold tenancy (with fixed term for X amount), the terms of the tenancy, including the tenancy length can only change with the exclusive permission of both landlord and tenant. 

This means that even if your house get repossessed and the landlord changes from the current to the mortgage lender, your contract remains the same until the end of the fixed term. Afterwards, you may get evicted, or you may even be offered to stay. 

A lot of BTL landlords prefer to buy properties with the tenants already in, as they get returns on the property immediately. 

HOWEVER, 

If your tenancy agreement has no reference to a 3-year tenancy, but for example, 12 months, you may need to move again. If it’s not in the contract, you can’t enforce it, because your signature means you agree to whatever it says there. (almost)

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Tenant

Yes we have a Short Assured Tenancy signed on 22/06/15 that states the initial term is 3 years.  

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