Q&As

A buyer, after exchange, has granted a tenancy and is receiving rental income, but completion has been delayed and is yet to take place. What options are open to the seller? Must the buyer account to the seller for the rental income received between exchange and completion?

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Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 28/04/2016

The following Property Q&A Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A buyer, after exchange, has granted a tenancy and is receiving rental income, but completion has been delayed and is yet to take place. What options are open to the seller? Must the buyer account to the seller for the rental income received between exchange and completion?

When contracts for the sale and purchase of property are exchanged, the beneficial interest in the property passes to the buyer with effect from exchange of contracts, provided that the contract is specifically enforceable. While the legal title will remain with the seller until completion, the seller will hold the legal estate on trust for the buyer.

Further, between exchange and completion the seller will retain a right to remain in possession under its common law lien as seller, which arises at the date of the contract (that is, the date of exchange) (see: Phillips v Silvester and Re Birmingham). During this period, generally, the powers of ownership, such as the power of the seller to let or change tenants (other than to the buyer), are suspended (see

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