What to do if I purchased a new property with a tenant in it?

I had a contract on a property with a tenant on it. While under contract the then current owner gave the tenant another 6 month lease without my approval. I have since closed on the property and would not have continued the lease. What are my remedies?

Asked on July 5, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, when you buy property, you buy only the rights that the owner had to sell. That means that if there was a tenant, you buy a property with the tenant, since that's all the owner could sell; for example, if the tenant had another 6 months on his/her lease, or just had the lease renewed for 6 months, you are obligated to the lease. That's the bad news--you are now a landlord.
The good news is that if the seller altered the legal rights associated with the property (i.e. extended a lease) *after* he was in contract without your permission or consent, you may be able to sue him for breach of contract (not selling you what you agreed to buy) and/or fraud (lying about the rights associated with the property) to recover compensation for this--such as the cost for you to live elsewhere for the next 6 months due to there being a tenant. If you wish to explore this option, consult with a litigator (attorney who handles law suits).

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