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

Answers:

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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