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A fifth of millennials forced to leave rental home due to change in ownership

Many tenants face the uncertainty of potentially having to find a new home as a result of a change in ownership, with a fifth of millennials - 21% - having already been forced to leave their rented accommodation before they were ready because their landlord wanted to sell their property vacant.

The research from online property marketplace Vesta Property claims that 39% of millennials fail to understand exactly what their rights are as tenants when their landlord sells, while 32% somewhat surprisingly did not know that tenants could be legally served notice to vacate even if they have done nothing wrong.

The study indicates that most private renters would prefer to stay in the property regardless of change in ownership, with 77% of tenants’ surveyed saying that they want the option to stay in their home even if their landlord sells to another buy-to-let investor.


Russell Gould, CEO Vesta Property, said: “The current buying and selling system, where good tenants are evicted for no reason other than to sell a property, makes life harder for everyone. 

“Buyers have to find new tenants, sellers can lose valuable income and renters are forced to disrupt their lives by finding new accommodation.

Vesta last year launched a digital property marketplace enabling landlords to offer properties for sale with ‘tenants in place’, ensuring that sellers earn all the way to completion, while buyers earn rental income from day one, and tenants avoid disruption to their lives. 

Gould added: “The sector needs to move with the times and mould the system into something that works for both landlords and tenants alike. Specifically, the practice of advising a landlord to evict tenants in order to sell a property is outdated.

“The sector needs new models such as Vesta that offers tenants-in-place during the sale process thereby satisfying tenants who want to keep their home and landlords who wish to sell.”

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    I have tried to sell with sitting tenants but they do nothing to help present the property well. After about 8 months of trying, I let the lease lapse and got a much higher offer within a week of presenting the property as it should have been presented all along. As always, tenants have only themselves to blame if landlords choose to sell with vacant possession to the widest market available.

    Russell Gould

    I am not surprised by your experience. Traditional estate agents and portals are not really geared up for tenant in place sales. Many are approaching us to help list these types of investment properties. Unsurprisingly your tenants will not be super supportive to present the property in the best light if the people viewing their home plan to take it away from them! That is why, at Vesta we work with both Landlord and the Tenants through the preparation, marketing and sales process to help ensure a more seamless process. If tenants understand the property is being marketed to investors and they are also 'marketing' themselves' to their next Landlord they will often help to make sure the property is clean, tidy and presents well. Of course the property and yield also need to be attractive to attract the right investor buyer. Congratulations on selling. At least you did not lose 8 months of rental income!

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    • 06 February 2019 10:18 AM

    LL wishing to sell are keen on gaining the maximum price for their asset.
    Restricting the marketplace to only to sell to other LL is clearly unwise.
    That is why tenants have to be moved out.
    A LL is entitled to achieve the best price discovery he can for his property asset.
    Having tenants to go with the property will naturally reduce the scope of that price discovery.
    No surprise then that vacant possession tends to secure the best price discovery.
    All private tenants should know that a LL might choose to sell their property.
    It is irrelevant how good they have been as tenants.
    By it's very nature the PRS can never be as stable as living in a mortgage free property.
    People spend lifetimes to achieve such stability by the expedient of paying off a mortgage over about 40 years.
    Until that happy day of paying off finally the mortgage all property occupants are effectively tenants.
    Try staying in a property you own if you don't pay the mortgage!!!
    Tenants are far better off as they can move fairly easily.
    Not so a former homeowner who has been repossessed.
    The idea that anyone has stability of tenure is reserved for those homeowners without a mortgage and those social home occupants with council or HA tenancies with subsidised rents.
    The tenure market by its very nature is unstable.
    There are no guarantees.
    Only a Freehold unmortgaged property is resilient to the ebb and flow of markets.
    If tenants want stability then this is what they should aim for.
    Thare can be no question of private LL being forced to maintain tenure circumstances for existing tenants.
    ALL tenants should be aware that their tenancy could be ended at any time.
    If this is stopped then most LL would sell up.
    There is simply no way that the State should be in a position to force LL to carry on using their private capital for the enfranchisement of another private citizen in this case a tenant.
    Private individuals must always be able to withdraw their assets from use and to sell them if they wish for the best price they believe they can achieve.
    This usually means an empty asset is required!!

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    I agree. I would never again try to sell a property without immediate vacant possession. I have since bought a property with tenants in situ and got it for about 85% of market value because the landlord was in danger of repossession. I was lucky and could wait until my value- reducing tenants could be got rid of at the end of the lease. I had offered them one of my other flats if they co-operated and were astonished that I didn't regard co-operating to include keeping the flat as a tip when viewings were scheduled!


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