Q. I am transferring my property portfolio to a limited company. Do I need to get my tenants to sign a new tenancy agreement? Is there any other paperwork required?
A. When a tenanted property is transferred to a new owner, that person will then become the landlord to the occupiers. He is said to ‘stand in the shoes’ of the original landlord and will, in the main, be subject to the same legal rights and obligations as the original landlord.
So, it is not strictly necessary to get a new tenancy agreement signed immediately. The existing tenancy agreement will continue to apply.
However, what is important is that you send a notice (which can be in the form of a letter) informing the tenants of the identity of the new landlord, the landlord address and details of any new arrangements for payment of rent. This is required under s3 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and it is actually a criminal office if you fail to do this within two months.
This letter can also serve as your section 48 notice if the company registered office address is different from the address given for the landlord in the tenancy agreement.
If you don’t give a new tenancy agreement earlier, you should (assuming your tenant is willing to sign it) give a new tenancy agreement at renewal, and note that you must give a proper tenancy agreement and not a renewal form as the identity of the landlord has changed.
Don’t forget that if a deposit was taken you will also need to deal with amending the records held by your tenancy deposit scheme.
Q. My tenant has told me that his spare set of keys have been stolen and has asked that the locks be changed. Who will be responsible for the cost of this?