Profile picture for dotnetdotcomdot

How do I transfer a lease when buying an investment property that is leased?

I'm buying a property and intend on keeping the current tenants with their current lease. I have a copy of the existing lease; can I just cross out the leaseholders name, write in mine, and have the tenants initial the changes?
  • October 20 2013 - Morrisville
  • 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 (8)

Profile picture for RealEstateCrew
I am not an attorney, first off.  

If you want something in writing on the lease being transferred, have the lessor give you an assignment.

You buying the property will legally give you all rights to the property, including the leases, but if you want more than the deed, have an assignment completed.

Verify everything with your attorney. 
  • October 21 2013
  • 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 craigfial
Have the tenants sign a new lease with the same terms but with you as the owner along with where to send checks.

Remember the security deposit should have also been transfered to you at closing.
  • October 21 2013
  • 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 DFisherBroker
As a new owner, you probably want lease terms structured according to the way you conduct business. We usually see the new owners signing a new lease with the existing tenants and some documentation signed by all parties that the existing lease is being superseded by the new one.  You will also want to deal with the deposits and come to some agreement about the condition of the property and how refund of security, cleaning or other deposits will be determined. NOLO press Landlording is a good resource. An quick call to your attorney will help make sure you don't miss anything. If you appreciate an answer, please give thumbs up.  For the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a best answer click.
  • October 21 2013
  • 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 CallTheSisters
before you either alter an existing document or create a new one have your attorney advise you.

Like I said - we are from different states and what I do in PA may not be what is accepted practice in your state.
  • October 21 2013
  • 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 Sharon Lewis
I am a Realtor in Morrisville, Cary, Raleigh area. So my advice, you are probably using an attorney to close, call your attorney and ask them the best way, your realtor is not an attorney and not allowed to give legal advice.
The attorney should look at the lease anyway to make sure it is something you want to live with
Best of luck to you and congratulations on the purchase.
  • October 21 2013
  • 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 dotnetdotcomdot
Thank you both for your replies.

The existing lease verbiage is great and I want to keep it. To keep the paperwork looking clean I suppose I will get a blank copy of the existing lease and just have them resign at closing (everything identical except for my name in place of the previous owner). If I learn anything valuable in the process I will post another reply on here so that others know.
  • October 20 2013
  • 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 CallTheSisters
We are all from different states and the laws vary.  Your real estate agent should be able to give you an answer.

in PA a lease goes with the property. The new owner has to honor the lease.  There is a provision in the sales contract for the buyer to review the lease x number of days after contract.  Most investors ask to see the leases before they put in an offer.

At the closing table the lease is transferred along with the property.  The buyer signs an acceptance of the lease including it's terms and conditions.
The seller turns over the security deposit to the new owner.
  • October 20 2013
  • 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.

I am no lawyer and I would assume they would want to use a new lease, but it sounds to me like your idea would work. It has signatures and there is a meeting of minds, so as a non-lawyer I would think it would work.
  • October 20 2013
  • 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.