Sometimes we receive calls from tenants when they have been notified that landlords are considering selling their properties. For landlords, it is much easier for them to sell to their existing tenants rather than the open market. This leads to tenants being offered the “first refusal”, a chance to buy before the landlord takes it to an agent to sell.
The government has re-evaluated tax reliefs over the years, leading to many landlords paying more tax than before. This in turn has caused many of them sell their properties, something that is very common for amateur landlords.
On the other hand, more serious investors often keep their properties, as they tend to view it as a long-term arrangement and a sound investment, despite legislative changes.
There is a variety of reasons as to why a landlord might choose to sell their property to you rather than an estate agent.
1) They avoid paying commission with estate agents.
2) It avoids ‘loss of rent’ due to not having tenants in the residence until the sale goes through.
3) No refurb costs: If a tenant moves out then the property will have to be prepared for sale. With potential expenses needed to redecoration e.g. new flooring.
Not only are there advantages to landlords but there are potential advantages to sitting tenants who are considering buying:
1) You know the property inside out if there are any faults, you’ll already be aware of them. No nasty surprises for you!
2) You won’t be caught up in a chain. You aren’t waiting for the owner of a property you’re after to finish their own process meaning a deal can be done faster.
3) Discounted price when purchasing. Given all the advantages listed above, it’s normal for a Landlord to sell to a sitting tenant at a discounted price. More commonly known as a ‘sale undervalue’.
Some lenders will allow discounts which are offered by the landlord as part of your deposit. If the price that is agreed turns out to be well below the open market value it may even be possible for a tenant not to have to put down any deposit at all.