Here is a question to the blog clinic from Anthony (not his real name) who is a landlord
I have tenant in my property, who has been there over 3.5 years. We had an AST which lasted the first 12 months and it is now a periodic tenancy.
I informed the tenant that I will be needing to sell my property and she will be given S21 in due course. A S21 was served, which she wasn’t at all happy about. We commenced marketing, and viewings, securing a good offer.
The tenant informed me that she had no intention to leave. I have commenced eviction proceedings. I made an agreement with someone to move in after she left to do decorating and some work in the house prior to completion and exchange. These two people are now cross as they have lost work, and a place to live.
Am I allowed to allow them to move in with her so they can do what needs to be done for the sale? Surely they can live there with my permission/contract?
I do not want to lose valuable time, or my buyers – as if they pull out, I will not be able to purchase my own home, and everything will be a mess. I have incurred significant financial losses as a result of this tenant including solicitors fees, damage to property, but she does continue to pay the rent.
It’s a private rental, and we had asked the letting agent for non-dss tenants, but recently learnt that she is dss – which has invalidated our landlords insurance, can we do anything about this.
This question illustrates why you should get vacant possession before you start looking for purchasers and arranging for work to be done on the property.
No, you are NOT allowed to move people in and start doing work. While the property is let to the tenant it is hers and you have no right to go in there or indeed do anything with it without her permission, until the tenancy ends (which won’t be until after she moves out).
If you try to move someone else in, this would be harassment and trespass and you could be sued and ordered to pay compensation.
I am afraid you will just have to wait until your eviction proceedings are completed and the tenant has gone.
Just be thankful that the tenant is paying the rent. In so many cases that I have seen the landlord has to deal with rent arrears as well.
So far as the DSS point is concerned, if the agents were in breach of your instructions then they will be at fault – but whether you can bring any claim against them for this will depend on whether you suffered any financial loss as a result of having a DSS tenant in the property.
Note though that people often lose their jobs and go on benefit after they have moved in and if this is the case here, your agent cannot be held responsible.