Chattels in sale

Question from Emma updated on 17th December 2014:

The property we rent has just been sold, however the new owner has said we can stay on (no contact so far). The current owner has just contacted saying she wants to pick up many of the chattels in a few days. This is a real inconvenience. Can they do this as we are still under the old contract?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

When a property sells with an existing tenancy agreement in place, and that tenancy is not terminated, the tenancy would continue with all of the existing terms and conditions. The new owner would inherit these as part of the purchase. It is also generally accepted that the sale of any chattels included with the premises will be negotiated as a part of the sale and purchase agreement between the vendor and purchaser. Where an existing tenancy agreement includes the provision for specific chattels, these would also remain part of the tenancy agreement unless an agreement otherwise has been reached by the landlord and tenant, effectively varying the terms and conditions of the agreement. If the tenancy has been terminated by the current landlord with valid notice, the landlord is able to collect the chattels at the end of their tenancy with you. You can enter into a new tenancy agreement with the new landlord; this may have different terms and conditions. I suggest you discuss the matter with your current landlord highlighting your continuing tenancy, and the terms and conditions provided as part of your tenancy agreement. Further information about a landlord and tenant’s rights and obligations can be viewed by visiting our website (, or by calling our Tenancy Advice line on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) Monday to Friday between 8am and 5.30pm.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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