What happens when a landlord sells a property with tenants still occupying the house?

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S
Shale
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Hi: I am a landlord and I specialise in Corporate Lets. I presently rent a house which with full permission from the owner, I re rent out as a sub contracted rental.

I have just found out that the prior owner of this property has just sold it to an investor. The new owner believes they can get more rent from it than I was being charged, (not true by the way....I have been paying over the odds) - and they want to serve me (and via me the occupants of the property), with eviction. Well...originally he wanted me to leave the tenants so he could take over their contracts. I have refused as I have spent time and money finding those tenants and establishing links with local companies, so I have offered to move them to new accomodation instead. The existing occupants are my IP as far as I am concerned.

I have also stated that I do not actually have a contract with the new owner. My contract is with the prior owner and the former owner should be the person who serves me with a notice of termination, (I am happy to go by the way as my relationship with the new owner has got off to a sticky start).

The investor has been wanting to hassle the occupants of the property (sleeping on the settee would you believe it)...and I am contesting this and trying to protect their privacy.I actually suspect he wants the chance to steel my tenanst and this his a way of getting to know them and find out what rent they pay me....possibly to undercut me. However my tenants have been with me a long time and trust me, so they have agreed to go wherever I put them so I think this plan has backfired.

The new owner states I am on a rolling contract and that when he purchased the property that meant he also purchased the contract with me. I have suspected that the occupants of this property are sitting tenants, but the new owner believes this is not the case as he has inherited a rolling contract.

Can anyone advise me on the legal aspect of what happens to a tenancy agreement when the property changes hands please? I am happy to move my tenants out and I am happy to be served 2 months notice of termination, however I dont actually have a contract with the new owner as far as I am aware so I believe (maybe wrongly) - that the former owner should be the person serving me notice.

During a property sale, does a tenancy agreement automatically pass over to the new owner? Who do I pay the rent to now - the new owner or the old owner?

PS: I have never known the address of the former owner as they have always refused to give it. They dont use a management company. I also dont have the address of the new owner either.

02/07/2010 00:00

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