Change of Property Ownership

Sometimes property owners or landlords change during a tenancy, possibly due to a change in ownership or moving from an individual name into a limited company. 

This article discusses what the tenants need to know where there is some change to the landlord's name or address. 

Please see here for information about legally changing ownership, including the land registry

Regarding 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 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 property ownership and will now be the sole landlord. In this case, section 48 will need serving to show John's name and address (in England or Wales). 

A new tenancy can be created if preferred and would have the same effect as the name and address of the 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 added, a section 3 and section 48 notice will be required. 

This is because the tenancy is being assigned to whichever landlord(s) is now new in addition to the change of name. 

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 assigned to the new composition of 3 people. Hence, doing a section 3 and 48 combined notice is safest. Like the situation earlier, it’s possible to do a new tenancy if preferred.

Individual Name(s) to a Company Name

Where there are individuals (or sole individuals) who are 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, so effectively, the tenancy is assigned to the company. Like above, a new tenancy can be done if preferred.

Name of Landlord Changes

Where a landlord's name changes, perhaps, 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: 

Buying a Property With a Tenant in Situ 

Selling A Buy To Let With A Sitting Tenant

Changing Property Ownership for Tax

Please visit this article for more information about changing property ownership for tax.

View Related Handbook Page

Duty to Provide Name and Address of Landlord

All tenants are entitled to know the name and address of their landlord by way of a notice.