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Tenants already in situ: which notices should landlords be aware of?

05 April 2024

Are you a landlord that’s bought or sold a property with tenants already in occupation? Our team of experts offer guidance on which notices landlords should be aware of.

Perhaps you have purchased a property like this through auction and need to act quickly to meet your responsibilities. Nevertheless, there are two types of notices you need to be aware of to avoid facing penalties.

Section 3 notice

Landlords are required to notify tenants of a change of landlord and their address details. Both the seller and the buyer of a property with tenants in occupation are responsible for this.

You have two months from the date of assignment to provide correct notice to the tenants. If you have failed to comply within this time limit, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to minimise your liability.

Failure by the buyer or seller to provide a Section 3 notice could result in a summary offence, or even a fine of up to £2,500. It is therefore very important that you take legal advice when buying or selling a property with tenants in occupation.

Section 48 notice

Whilst a Section 48 notice can seem very similar to a Section 3 notice, it is very important that both are served. A Section 48 notice provides the tenants with the appropriate address details for where notices should be served.

This notice is only the responsibility of buyers or landlords who change their service address. Failure by a landlord to provide a Section 48 notice to the tenants will prevent rent from being lawfully due until the notice is correctly served.

If a Section 48 notice has not been served prior to issuing an eviction notice or proceedings, it is likely that a court will find that the notice is invalid, and the proceedings will be unsuccessful.

If you are buying or selling a property with tenants already in occupation or have changed your service address, get in touch with our specialist property litigation team so that we can assist you further.

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Our property litigation experts are highly rated and deal with property disputes for a wide range of landlords and tenants.

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Bethen Abraham LLB (Hons), LLM
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