Notices regarding change of ownership of rented properties - Tenants are not always aware that the identity of their Landlord has changed and Landlords are often unaware of their obligations both in respect of residential and commercial properties where the freehold has changed hands and a new Landlord is in place.
With regard to residential properties, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires a new Landlord to inform Tenants of the transfer of the Landlords interest and the new Landlords name and address. The address should be the persons place of abode or business or in the case of a company, its Registered Office. Notice should be given not later than the next rent payment day or if later, the date 2 months after the date of the transfer of ownership.
Failure to give the appropriate form of Notice can be a criminal offence and could result in a fine on the new Landlord.
There are also other Notice requirements where a freehold changes hands and where Tenants would have had a right of first refusal. Section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 requires the Landlord to furnish the Tenant by Notice with an address in England and Wales in which Notices may be served on the Landlord by the Tenant.
With regard to commercial Leases, there is no Statutory obligation to inform the Tenants of a change of the Landlord although for obvious practical reasons this is essential to make sure that the tenant pays the right Landlord! Generally, until a Tenant has received Notice that the former Landlord is no longer entitled to receive the rents, any Notice served on the old Landlord will be deemed served on the new Landlord. When a new Landlord purchases a property, he will want to make sure that he receives a letter from the old Landlord addressed to the Tenants that rents in future are to be paid to the new Landlord.
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