Sometimes property ownership or landlords change during a tenancy. This might be as a result of a change in ownership or perhaps the moving from an individual name into a limited company.
This article only discusses what the tenants need to be informed of where there is some change. For information about legally changing ownership including the land registry, please see here.
In respect of the current tenants, the primary thing that needs to be done is to ensure the tenant is informed of the correct new landlord name(s) and address.
Joint Property Ownership Names Reduced
Where there are multiple owners/landlords and the names are reducing perhaps from a joint ownership to a single owner or, one of the landlords has died, a simple section 48 notice will be all that is needed.
This notice provides the name and address (which must be in England or Wales) where the landlord will accept the service of notices and will need to contain the new composition of name(s).
For example, John Smith and Joe Bloggs are partners and have a property in both names which is also shown on the tenancy agreement. John is taking over full ownership of the property and will now be the sole landlord. In this case, a section 48 will need serving showing the name and address (in England or Wales) for John.
A new tenancy can be created if preferred and would have the same effect as the name and address of landlord will be contained in the tenancy agreement.
Joint Property Ownership Changing or Increasing
Where there is a single owner/landlord or joint owners/landlords and there is some change of person or a new landlord is being added, a section 3 and section 48 notice will be required. This is because in addition to the change of name, the tenancy is being assigned to whichever landlord(s) is now new.
For example, John Smith and Joe Bloggs are the owners and landlords of a property. There is a new investor Jane Dawson. Because Jane has never been part of the tenancy before now, the tenancy is effectively being assigned to the new composition of 3 people so it’s safest to do a section 3 and 48 combined notice.
Like the situation earlier, it’s possible to simply do a new tenancy if preferred.
Individual Name(s) to a Company Name
Where there are individuals (or sole individual) who is the landlord/owner and the property is being moved into a limited company, a section 3 and 48 combined notice should be done. This is because the limited company is a separate legal entity and so effectively the tenancy is being assigned to the company.
Like above, a new tenancy can be done if preferred.
Name of Landlord Changes
Where the name of a landlord simply changes perhaps for example through marriage, a section 48 notice will be needed. There’s no assignment in this case so section 3 is not required.
Buying or Selling a Property with an Existing Tenancy
We have articles covering these two scenarios for which see the links below: