How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Matt Jones Your Own Question
Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practicing Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Matt Jones is online now

Hi I have been renting privately for 2 years. My landlord

This answer was rated:

Hi I have been renting privately for 2 years. My landlord informed me on the day of signing a new 6 month contract that he was only "thinking" of selling the property. After signing the contract the landlord advised me a couple of days later that yes he was selling. I also note,  the landlord up'd my rent for a 2nd time in the 2 years. I accomodated agencies and viewings and surveryors and the property now has a buyer (literally one month after I signed my 6month contract). The buyer is interested in me staying on in the property for another 6 months as she does not move in until late next year. I have been served my 2 months notice. The new buyer has contacted me directly to advise that she is happy for me to stay on for a further 6 month contract . I have advised both the deposit from the deposit scheme can simply be transferred. Both are dealing through an agency so arent in contact with wach other apart through me and the agency. The new buyer is a cash buyer and has informed me that she is confident the sale will go through I.e contracts will be exchanged much quicker than my 2 month notice date with my current landlord. My current landlord advised they will charge me rent until the end date , however the new buyer said to address this as she will own the property a lot sooner that and is ready to set up a seperate 6 month contract I feel like i am being used for as much money as possible by the old landlord. - I.e increasing my rent knowingly selling the property within 1 month, accomodating all parties with the sale, being asked to pay rent to the old landlord  when contracts have exchanged. Is my landlord not breaking our agreement - ie if everything is signed before the end date of the 2 months notice period? ? (I believe it will be pushed through before christmas ) and the old landlord would have ne pay an additional 3 weeks rent -january 12th? As I have been so accomodating can we not do a clean break? Deposit exchanged and I begin a new rental agreement , pay the new landlord my rent instead of paying the old and new landlord a possible 3 weeks rent overlap? I am accomodating all parties but feel the old landlord is taking advantage. Please can you advise . I want to syay amicable with old and new landlord . The old landlord advises tge sale might be delayed and the new believes it will happen very quickly.

Where do I stand -please can you advise?

Matt Jones :

Hi i will try and help

Matt Jones :

could you just clarify what your main concern is?

hopefully you can see my reply now and can come back to me?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Matt


Im happy to stay on in the property however im not happy to pay my old landlord rent to mid January if contracts are exchanged before then I.e before the christmas break I.e Dec 18th or even earlier.

Is the old landlord entitled to charge me rent when she no longer owns the house?

I would imagine the new landlord (only)has that right


Is my old landlord effectively breaking section 21 of the housing act?

If contracts are exchanged abd the house is sold how can I be paying her rent for a further 3 weeks?

Surely I can only pay the new owner rent based on a new tenant agreement that will be put in place as of tge date of exchange ?

The tenancy agreement is not being transferred.

Therefore once contracts are signed the old owner is no longer my landlord? The new property owner is setting up a new tenancy agree ment from the date of house exchange. I would effectively be doubling up on 3 weeks rent to old and new landlord.

That doesnt seem legal?

There is an overlap between my section 21 , two month notice period and the property tranfering from old to new owner? Does this in itself not break our tenancy agreement?

At this point am I obliged to pay the rent to the old owner after property contracts are exchanged to the new owner

Im not too fussed on following up further on a broken tenancy agreement as I would rather just cut ties but im not agreeable to pay any rent to a landlord who has served my 2 months notice during which the sale could easily go through very quickly?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Relist: Answer came too late. Sorry I was in a call when Matt responded but I did respond pretty quickly and am now waiting a couple of hours on a response.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help with this.
I see you have relisted do you still need help?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes please Alex.

Thank you.

I have since seen that my current 6 month tenancy agreement advises "if the owner of the property changes for example if the property is sold and the property passes to someone else this will not change your rights and obligations under this agreement. .. the only difference is that the identity of the landlord will have changed"

I basically want the transition to go smoothly.

The new property owner take over the tenancy agreement.

I have been served 2 months notice stating im leaving the property however my current landlord knows the new buyer wants to keep me on in the property and has confirmed this to me in writing. Contract states during sale landlords name simply changes on contract.

Shouldn't this be as simple as new buyer takes over tenancy agree ment and rent is paid to the new landlord as of date of completion of sale?

Hi , I am sorry for the delay and hopefully i can still be of assistance.
As you are under contract to the current landlord until he actually sells your obligation to pay him rent continues. Therefore you need to pay this as normal. If the completion of the sale falls in between a rental period then all this means is that the seller and buyer would make an apportionment of the rent the Seller has received and the buyer would hold back monies on a daily rate from the purchase price.
You won't be involved in this at all. You have paid the rent and that is all you need to be concerned with. once the buyer completes he will give you payment details for the next months date.
As to the section 21, this has been served so there is nothing much you can do about it (assuming it was completed ans served correctly). Once the buyer buys you can re-negotiate a new tenancy with him (again nothing he can do legally prior to this as he doesn't own the property)
I hope this helps with your situation. DO ask any follow up questions
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience: I am a qualified and practicing Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
Matt Jones and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have not signed and sent back the document agreeing to the 2 month notice period. It states a notice period begining next week and that I will vacate the property in 2 months?

Does this mean that notice it has not been completed and served correctly as you advise?

If I find out the contracts for the house are exchanged shortly and before the notice period if my notice is valid how can it be that I would pay rent to the old owner and not my new landlord as she is effectively owner of the property?

Are both old and new landlord entitled to double up on what maybe anything between 2-8 weeks rent if the sale goes through sooner rather than later?

I look forward to hearing from you.

as to the first question the notice only has t be delivered to you, there is no requirement for you to sign and accept for it to be valid in law.
As to the rent, let us ignore the s21 notice for the moment as it may be confusing matters. Say for example you have paid your rent on the 1st November for the month of November. Then say that, for example, the house sale completes on the 17th November. You are all ready paid up to date and so the additional 14 days rent would be deducted form the sale price by the buyer, thereby crediting the buyer for the rent you have paid. The buyer would then ask you for the rent for the next month, i.e 1st December in the usual way (in this example!). neither the old landlord or new can demand any rent so that you are paying double the rent. The change of ownership will not affect your liability to pay the rent in the slightest.
The s21 notice has nothing to do with the rent. If you existing landlord has served the notice and it expires, for example, on the 19th January 2015 then that is the date you must vacate, regardless of who owns the property at that point. You just have to hope, I suppose, that the new landlord will disregard the s21 notice when he takes ownership and grants you a new tenancy once the actual owner.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Very interesting thank you.

Therefore, I can go ahead and sign the section 21 and send it back. Im positive the new landlord will be ok with this.

I sent the new buyer who expressed interest in my staying on and agrees to draw up a new contract for me a mail suggesting she take over the contract, however I will ask she ignore this

I would also assume it is for the new landlord to know be informed themselves as to any rents owed to them being deducted from the sale.

Ok fantastic that puts things more into perspective.

Thank you very much for your help.

no problem, good luck with everything