If I buy a property that has tenants, what are my optionsfor evicting them?

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If I buy a property that has tenants, what are my optionsfor evicting them?

I plan on buying a duplex. I will occupy one sideand have family live on the other. Unfortunately, most properties that I am interested in are all occupied by tenants. *Example, one comment made about a home was that the tenants’ lease would expire in 12/10). The new owner could choose the new tenancy terms, but would have to give at least 6 months notice, if tenants are to leave.* If I were to close on a home before the lease expires and give 30 days notice, is it still legal or does it have to be longer? Can the seller legally evict them before we close?

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When someone buys a property that has tenants, they buy the property subject to the lease; that because the owner can only sell what he or she has, which is a property with tenants. That means that if there are written leases, the tenants can stay (assuming they do not violate the lease, including by nonpayment, thereby providing grounds for eviction) for the balance of the lease term, at which point the owner could decline to renew. Thus, if a lease is in effect until 12/10, the tenant can stay until then--at which time whomeve owns the property could decline to renew (unless the lease itself contains some sort of automatic renewal term). Once the lease is not renewed and the tenancy is over, then the tenants could be evicted (but only by the normal court process; you can *never* simply lock tenants out). Not also that if there is a written lease, the current owner can not evict the tenants for you, while the lease is in effect.

If it's just an oral or verbal lease, then who ever owns the property can provide 30 days notice that the lease will not be renewed and the tenancy ended; then after that, tenants may be evicted.


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