Profile picture for wbk3

Home Buyer's options when purchasing home with long-term tenants

Hey all- I know this is a sensitive subject and I need some advice. I'm looking to buy a home in New Orleans that is currently being occupied by long-term renters. I am not sure if their initial lease has expired and they are now month to month or if they are in the middle of an agreement (I plan to find out asap and will update the question). In either case, it would be great if there were somewhere to find out about what rights I have as the potential home-buyer with regard to the tenants. In this case, it is a duplex and I would like to move the tenants out because the place needs repairs that will take me some time to make. After making them, I would like to invite them to move back in if they still are interested but as a result of the improvements a new lease agreement would have to be arrived at. I've been a renter my entire life and do not want to violate the renter's rights, however I feel like I have the right to protect my investment and find renters who will do the same. Does anyone know where to find official documentation related to this issue or have any advice? Thanks in advance...
  • December 13 2011 - New Orleans
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (6)

Just note this is not legal advice as I am not attorney and cannot practice law. A lease is a contract so you would need to see what the length of the lease is. In general the lease survives new ownership for the term of the lease unless a clause was put somewhere in the lease. You would be well served to have a real estate attorney review the lease is you do not understand the terms of it.
  • December 13 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
As you are planning on becoming a landlord, you should find an attorney who can advise you in these matters.

In general, a lease survives a purchase under the current terms when you are planning to continue it as a rental.  Make sure you get copies of all paperwork as well as all the deposits during the purchase transaction. 

While I can't imagine many renters being happy about having to move out for a period of time so you can renovate after their lease(s) expire, you can certainly suggest it.  (If I were your tenant, you'd not see me back again unless you compensated me handsomely for the inconvenience).

Please let us know what your attorney says.



  • December 13 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for nick galiano
The two above replies are incorrect in the state of Louisiana. I'd be more than happy to share my advice. [contact information deleted by Zillow moderator.  Please review the Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • December 13 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for kittenonkeys
Our Louisiana Offer to Purchase or Sell addresses leases in lines 124 through 128.  Basically it says the buyer has the right to review leases prior to purchase, and must approve them or can declare the contract null and void.  If the leases for these tenants have expired and they are on month-to-month, you will need to discuss options for eviction with the City Attorney, as most likely it will be a court proceeding.  I'm sure the tenants wouldn't want to move to another residence & then move back once renovations were done, but if you could limit the time of renovations, possibly they could rent something on a short-term basis.  Communication is a wonderful thing, so I definitely would talk to them before just evicting them.  How much are you going to raise the rent after renovations?  That will impact their decision as well.
  • December 13 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for the_country_hick
I would either buy the property with the condition that it be delivered vacant OR I would buy it only after talking to the tenants about the repairs you think it needs. The tenants may agree to the repairs being done while they live there or make a fuss about it.

It comes down to a simple decision based on a simple question. Do you want the tenants already living there to stay or not? If not buy the property vacant. If yes work this out with the tenants before you become their landlord.

I am not a realtor. I only know if I was buying a property like this I would do one of these 2 things.
  • December 13 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Wow! I totally empathize with you. I'm a buyer's agent here in Chicago that does a lot of work with multi-units and encounter this situation a lot. It happened in my own multi-unit, which I actually live in as well. I kept the tenants because I had enough units to offset their low rent.

For conscious minded people, of which I'd like to think I belong, and you clearly do, this is a conundrum, but there are options.

I tell my clients the first thing to do, immediately, is to talk with the tenant. I generally arrange this early on, way before closing, but once we know we have a secure contract as to not cause unnecessary hiccups.

Most tenants, I have found, in buildings that need rehab, and when they are aware their building is for sale, are already clued into the fact that they may see a rent increase or eviction. And many of them are uncomfortable for the same reason you are: THEY DON"T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

As we learn in relationships, of all kinds, communication is everything.

The reality of property is that they are all a business, and it's sometimes sad. You have the responsibility to be honest with the tenants as soon as possible. In addition, as a good person, you should make sure there are alternatives in their price range in an area they might consider living. Inform them of this, as many long term renters haven't searched for a place in years. In addition, if there are subsidized housing options, let them know as well.

Additionally, give the tenants a minimum of 60 days to move from the time you close, if not longer if you can afford it. And yes, it's always best to offer long term tenants the chance to move back after renovations. The logistics of this though are harder then you imagine, not to mention the increased rent you will most likely require for your new mortgage payment.

Honesty. Communication. It will work out.

And it's great to read about somebody who wants to be a responsible landlord.

  • December 15 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.