Buying as a Sitting Tenant Explained

We often receive calls from tenants whose landlords are looking to sell their properties. It can be easier for a landlord to sell to their tenant than to the open market so they end up giving the tenant the first refusal thus the tenant come to us for first time buyer mortgage advice

Why is my landlord selling up? 

The Government clamped down on some of the tax reliefs previously afforded to landlords. Many are now paying more tax than before and this is leading some of them to sell their properties. 

It is particularly common for amateur landlords to sell their properties. Serious investors tend to keep their properties as they see it as a long term arrangement. They will ride out legislative changes because they still view the property as a sound investment. 

Why is it better for landlords to sell to sitting tenants? 

There are a few different reasons why your landlord might prefer to sell their property to you. 

  1. It avoids paying commission to estate agents.

  2. It avoids “loss of rent”. If you move out as a result of the landlord decide to sell then they will no longer be collecting rent until a sale goes through.

  3. No refurb costs. If you move out then the landlord will have to make the property ready for sale. This might mean forking out for redecoration or new flooring, all eating into their profits. 

As well as advantage to the landlord, there are advantages to the sitting tenant who is considering buying: 

  1. You know the property and all its faults. No nasty surprises for you!
  2. No chain. You are not having to wait for the owner to find a property before you can complete it. As such, a deal can be done quickly.

  3. Discounted purchase price. Given the advantages listed above, it’s normal for a buy to let landlord to sell to a sitting tenant at a discount. This is also known as a sale undervalue. 

Some Lenders will allow any discount the landlord is offering to you as part/all of your deposit. If the agreed price is well below the open market value it may even be possible for a tenant not to have to put down any deposit at all. 

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