Profile picture for devinyanli

Foreclosure Property with Tenant

I am living in Virginia.  I am interested in a bank owned foreclosure house in my city, but the house is currently occupied by a tenant and I was told by the listing agent that he was tough.  He wont even allow anyone interested in the house to come in taking a look at the house.  My question is, after buying this house,  what are my legal options dealing with such a tenant?  What are the legal rights the tenant has?  What are the risks buying the house in this situation?

Thanks  
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January 13 2012 - US
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Answers (18)

Profile picture for mdm79
If i am reading it correctly, if you buy a foreclosed property and it has a tenant and you plan to use it as a primary residence then you have to give them 90 days notice to vacate. I still think that it would be best to spend a little and get a lawyer to make sure you protect yourself.
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January 26
Profile picture for JennyGar
This is very interesting information for me - thank you.  I am not looking at buying one myself, but my daughter is a tenant in a house that was just foreclosed last week.  This gives me some hope that she might not be just kicked out in the streets.  Thank you. 
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January 16 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
Linda, "you will REALLY want to do your homework before buying ANY property that has a tenant"

That is exactly WHY I would only buy such a house with a contract that specifies the house be delivered vacant. Dealing with a tenant you never wanted and can not get rid of is a problem no home buyer should ever deal with. I say let the bank deal with the problem of getting rid of the tenant. Until the renter is gone I would not buy.
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January 16 2012
Profile picture for devinyanli
You are all great,  thanks again for all the suggestions and ideas. 
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January 16 2012
Dan - you will REALLY want to do your homework before buying ANY property that has a tenant. Just google and read, or contact any Zillow Premier Agent in your area. (Search by zip code, then pick one from the column on the right - it will say "Premier")

For example, in Maryland, the tenant least is the dominant contract. That is, if you buy a house (foreclosure, short sale, or fee simple regular transaction) where a tenant has a lease that expires in 12/2012, you will have to honor that lease, period. Unless you can negotiate a move-out deal with the person. 

Having fun yet? That's why you consult a REALTOR - and you don't even have to pay them for their expert advice. They'll get paid when you eventually buy a home.
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January 16 2012
You could always wander down and knock on the door. Tell the tenant you are interested in purchasing the property, but only if it works out well for both of you. Ask his expectations and see if he is a reasonable person. I probably wouldn't be particularly pleasant in his position either with an uncertain future and not being included un what was going on with the property.
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January 15 2012
Profile picture for devinyanli

Thank you both, Dan and Roberto, for your valuable advises.

Yes, what I heard was someone has made offer not too long ago to the owner bank with a request of vacanting the house as a term, and the bank refused it.  ( i kind of smelled something was going on ).  

Dan, if the lease is still effective,  i would assume the tenant should automatically take the obligation to pay the rent to the new owner with the other terms unchanged? 

Roberto,  I like your idea of videoing the property.  If I purchase the house, I should have the right to examine the house immediately whether the tenant like it or not, correct?   

Thanks.

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January 15 2012
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January 15 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
Roberto, "You buy a foreclosure at an auction, there is no contract"

I was not talking about buying at an auction. If I buy at an auction it is very different as an auction really has no terms that can be added. I was referring to buying a completed foreclosure through the MLS. When buying a foreclosure through a realtor there is a contract. Certain conditions can be included in that contract. The  contract can request anything yes, the bank can refuse everything requested...or did I miss something?
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January 15 2012
Dan, you seem to be confused again here. The poster is talking about buying a foreclosure, not a short sale. 

In a short sale, you could insist on the home being vacant, and let the current owner work it out with the tenant. 

You buy a foreclosure at an auction, there is no contract, there are no terms. you bid, you win, you go over and find out what your pig in the poke home is. If there is someone there, you try to get them to leave without damaging the place. What I do, is offer them some money to get out. I also insist on my right to view my property, which is often a very tense day. I want video of the entire home, and let them know that any damage of what is now my property will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, both civilly and criminally.

I've actually been a party to these transactions, so I'm not whistling dixie here, that is how it is. 
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January 15 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
I believe that the lease stays in effect. I also believe you would be held liable for the deposit they made when taking the lease. (I might be incorrect here) That is WHY you write the contract so it says the house will be delivered vacant. That way the bank has to deal with the tenants instead of you doing it. If they want to sell getting rid of the renters will be their problem not yours.

I would not buy a house I wanted to live in with renters inside even with an expired lease. They have to many rights and eviction is to expensive when you do not want to be a landlord anyway.
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January 14 2012
Profile picture for devinyanli
One thing I like to clarify is that if the tenant has had a rental lease, is it still legally valid after closing of the house? 

I have a concern that since I am not clear at this moment what kind of lease he is having in his hand and what kind of terms are in it, if the lease is still legally valid after I purchase the house, I will have to deal with the tenant on the basis of this lease, which could potentially have some uncertainties, especially if the lease has special terms unknown to me, this will make it complicated to resolve the issue;  If the lease becomes invalid, i will have much more flexibility and be able to deal with the issue on my own term - continuously honor this lease, sign a new lease with more favorable terms, or simply go with eviction if nothing can be worked out for whatever reasons,....  

Thanks if anyone can let me know his/her opinion.
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January 14 2012
"Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009".
The link above explains tenant's right at foreclosure. The only risk I see is that if the tenant refuses to vacant a property once 90 days notice was given, you may need to evict them. But this can happen in any situation where tenant occupies the property and refuses to vacant the property.
I recommend that you seek legal advise.
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January 14 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
You can also make an offer with the condition that the property bve delivered vacant. That way the bank has to get the tenant out before closing and your life is easier. It may be easier to just look for another house.
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January 14 2012
I have a lot of experience with buyers purchasing foreclosures in Virginia. In this situation the only step to remove a tenant out of the property is through the court system. You will have to file for an eviction after giving substantial notice to the tenant. It may take time to do this. You should seek a lawyer to consult you in this situation. Make sure the tenant does not have a valid lease agreement. Lease agreements are usually transferred with the property. Good Luck!
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for devinyanli
Thanks you all very much for quick response and advises.   


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January 13 2012
If the tenant is there on the day you take possession, you become responsible for the tenant.

If the tenant has a lease, you would probably need to honor that lease.

if they're a squatter or their lease has expired or is expiring, you would need to have them evicted and HOPE that during the eviction process that the renter didn't do damage to the property.

Typically banks offer cash to tenants to get them to move prior to their agents listing the property. If the agent is telling you this tenant is a problem, I think I would skip on even looking @ the home and forget about buying what could be an expensive headache.
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January 13 2012
I have been involved with property management for 15 years and this is a tough situation. If you were to buy this REO you may not be able to view the property before you purchase. However, after you own the property you are the owner of the property. You must give the tenant a reasonable amount of time to respond to your request to enter the property. If they refuse than they are violating the lease terms. You can evict the tenants for breaking the lease terms. Check with your state lease agreements. Each state will be different. I am located in TX and the lease clearly states plain as day that the owner or property manager may enter the property with notice to tenant. Good Luck. It could be a geat buy.
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January 13 2012
 
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