Page:Landlord is selling the house/has mortgage problems

Landlord is selling the house/has mortgage problems

There is nothing to stop a landlord selling a house with tenants living in it. When this happens, the person who buys the house takes over as landlord and has to stick to the existing contract. This means that apart from paying your rent to a different person, everything else (such as the amount of rent and the length of the contract) stays the same.

If you have a resident landlord the rules about what happens when the landlord sells the house are more complex. If you find youself in this situation contact the Student Advice Centre for more information.

My landlord has mortgage problems

If your landlord has a mortgage on your house and s/he falls behind with the payments, the mortgage lender could take legal action to repossess the property. If this happens and the mortgage lender is granted possession, most tenants have no right to stay. This is because most contracts between a landlord and a tenant are not binding on the landlord’s mortgage lender.

How do I know if my contract is binding?

Your contract might be binding if:

  • It started before your landlord took out the mortgage
  • Your landlord had a special type of mortgage called a buy-to-let
  • The mortgage lender gave your landlord permission to give you a contract
  • The mortgage lender has recognised your contract, for example, by asking you to pay rent to them.

If your contract is binding the mortgage lender will become your landlord and can only make you leave by following the normal eviction rules. For more information, click here.

What can I do if my contract is not binding?

If your contract is not binding you could:

  • Ask the mortgage lender to take over as landlord. Some mortgage lenders are willing to do this, especially if you are an assured shorthold tenant with no intention of staying in the property long-term
  • Ask the court to give you more time to find somewhere else to live. The court can postpone the eviction date by up to two months but before you can apply for this you have to ask the mortgage lender first and have your request refused
  • Claim compensation from your landlord.

If you find yourself in this position and need further help or advice please contact the Student Advice Centre.

Page updated 15 June 2015