Many times a home buyer asks a general real estate question like  If I buy a house with a tenant, what do I do? 

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The question is a simple Real Estate Tenant question that a licensed real estate agent should be able to answer. 

 Here is my simple answer:

  • If the tenant has a lease, you need to get a copy of the lease because you will be obligated to continue to honor that rental lease for the duration after you buy the property. (There are however slightly different rules for buying tenant occupied REO properties) 
  • If the tenant is on a month-to-month, you might request the seller to evict them prior to closing (preferred) or you can make a new lease with them or evict them after you close.
  • If the tenant is not on a lease and not on a month to month than they have no business being in your house after closing.  This however can be a sticky situation, that should be addressed prior to closing, so that you do not create war with an uncooperative (and non-paying) tenant.

Before you purchase a home with an existing tenant, it is a must for you to have a written copy of the lease showing the terms and deposited monies which you are entitled to receive.  Don’t accept a verbal assurance or rely on what the agent, tenant or seller say. 

I would also suggest that you also check with both the landlord and the tenant to make sure that there is not another secret lease with different terms…trust me, sometimes you will get conflicting stories.

These are just the basics for buying a house with a tenant..for a more definitive answer, please consult with your own real estate attorney.

Copyright @ Buyers Broker of Florida 2012 “Buying a house with a tenant