What are my rights as a new property owner if a tenant refuses to move?

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What are my rights as a new property owner if a tenant refuses to move?

My husband and I have recently purchased a piece of property. The previous owner has allowed a tenant to

live on said property and now that tenant has refused to leave the property. I am wanting to know what my husband’s and my rights and responsibilities are for this situation.

Asked on May 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Do these tenants have a written lease? If so, you will have to honor it. If not, however, then you can serve them with a 30 day notice to vacate. If they refuse to leave after that time, then you can file an "unlawful detainer" action (i.e. eviction). Until then, take no self-help measures suchas changing the locks, removing their belongings, turning off the utilities, etc. If you do, then you can find yourself of the wrong side of a civil suit. Since, all proper procedures for sercing a notice and filing the eviction must be met, you may want to consult directly with an attorney who handles landlord-tenant matters. They can best advise you further as to specific state law.


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