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June 2015

Question

I recently decided to rent a nice three-bedroom apartment in the city centre which, at the time, I thought was ideal as it was located reasonably close to my place of work and the school my children attend.

I wasted no time signing a fixed-term lease with the landlord which is due to commence soon. However, I was recently tipped off by a friend of mine that the landlord has also advertised the property for sale. I was hoping you could explain my rights in this situation and if there is anything I can do. I am certainly interested in ensuring that the impact of this on my family is minimised and that it won’t cause any trouble down the line.

 

Answer

You have signed a fixed-term contract with your landlord and this contract guarantees your tenure for the period in question ie 12 months or 24 months etc.

It is possible the landlord may have had the property on the market for sale before you entered into the contract.

This is not unusual as statistics will show that most landlords are losing money on their investments, due to the negative consequences of some recent policy developments and the banks charging punitive interest rates to many ‘buy to let’ investors.

So I would clarify the position with your landlord on whether they are still selling (after you get the key).

If he/she still intends to sell, they will have to work with you on viewings which will not be satisfactory for them or the auctioneer. They cannot just walk in and show the property. There is always an underlying story so that is why it is best to seek clarity.

Please ensure you have not signed a part 4 tenancy under the 2004 tenancies act, because if you have then they can seek possession once a sale is agreed or indeed at any time if they are selling the apartment.

Kersten Mehl is a member of the MediKids Property and Facilities Management Surveying Professional Group