How can I get tenants out of an inherited property?

UPDATED: May 24, 2012

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How can I get tenants out of an inherited property?

I believe my husband is going to rent a home he owns to someone for very little money. He is doing this to hurt me as he has filed for divorce but is very ill. If he dies before the divorce is final and I inherit the house can I break the lease and get the tenants out. I want to sell the house I don’t want to live in it.

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't break the lease if you inherit the home; you inherit it subject to any/all leases, contracts, liens, encumberances, loans, mortages, etc. affecting it. So in this case, you inherit the tenants, so to speak. Nothing will force you to renew the lease when it is up, however; and you can sell it even though there are tenants with in-force leases (buyers purchase it subject to the leases; may affect the price you can get, if the leases are disadvantageous, but you absolutely have the right to sell).

Note that if the home looks like it would be a net economic loss or drain to you (e.g. it is underwater on its mortage; leases do not cover monthly operating cost), you could elect to disclam the inheritance and not take the home.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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