I bought a bank owened house at auction. How to deal with the tenant currently living there?

  • November 19 2012 - Tavares
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Answers (18)

Profile picture for MarieSkopis
The tenant is more afraid of you than you are of them. If you cannot physically go over there then hire a representative (rental agent)  to approach them in a friendly manner. They may be already packed and ready to move. But because of the foreclosure, if you go to eviction court, they are allowed 3 months--rent free. Remember, they have lost their security deposit. it does not matter if they are a relative, they can move in a non-related roommate for court purposes.. As quickly as possibly you need to establish in writing, by registered mail, that you will not be renewing the lease or asking them to leave within the legal 90 days. Another possibility is they would like to pay you rent while you flip this to another buyer. Be aware, when they move they will probably take everything, ceiling fans, etc. So it is important to get on their good side. If you want to negotiate cash for keys to get them to move sooner, that is legal. 

Marie Skopis
Exit NFI
850-462-4110
marie@skopis.com
  • November 21 2012
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If the tenant do not have lease this do not provide them right to stay free. The act applicable only to bone fade tenant and therefore i believe  if they do not pay rent then eviction law of the state is applicable . If eviction law applies and court evict the tenant for non-payment of rent that will have effect on the records and believe wise people do not want to get evicted for non-payment. Please see other reply. I believe you are not interpreting the law correctly. By the way I am a foreign qualified attorney however not qualified to practice in the USA. Law does not allow anyone for unfair benefit.
However I might not correct. I am looking forward to a reply from a Florida Attorney in this point and they will be able to interpret the law correctly.

Thanks for your reply and for your time again.
  • November 21 2012
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Profile picture for MarieSkopis
The first question would be do you have a lease? If they do you must honor ir--so long as thye pay rent. If they do not have a lease you must allow them to live there for free for 90 days---unless you were going to live in the property. This is federal law: 

http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/200911/protect.pdf

Marie Skopis
Exit Realty NFI
850-462-8110
marie@skopis.com
  • November 21 2012
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I believe the Act benefits only good   tenants . This Act does not say that tenant can stay without paying. If tenant do not pay than the law do not protect tenant and  is not applicable. Therefore investor has no problem of getting rent in any way.

I do not see any problem with the Fair Housing Law for investors buying foreclosed house. You have a misconception of law. Please read the law again. The law do not allow anyone for unfair benefit. I appreciate all the replies and advise.
Thank you for your time.
  • November 20 2012
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If you are asking that question, I would try to resell it now and cut your loses. . . . .
  • November 20 2012
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Profile picture for MarieSkopis
Don't you just love auction.com? Never a dull moment. 

Read the law to see what your options are:

http://www.fairhousingadvocates.com/assets/PEFLYERPROTECTINGTENANTSACT2009pdf.pdf

  • November 20 2012
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Profile picture for Joe Cafasso
There are two different parts to this question:
1. Do you want the tenants to remain tenants and 2. How do you get them out quickly if you do not wish for them to stay. My advise is different depending on if you are an experienced landlord or just getting started. If you are experienced, then tenants that you inherit might not be bad. If this is your first time being a landlord, I would suggest you hire an attorney and insist that the tenants be evicted (hopefully there's no lease in effect or there's history of non-payment).

While the foreclosure may have been through no fault of the current tenants,  a lot of times foreclosure of rental properties are caused because tenants refuse to pay rent and landlord don't have the funds to pay the mortgage without the income. That being said, even if the tenants were paying rent, they may be jaded about the property since it may also have not been cared for and therefore the tenants will probably start off by not having respect for you or the property. IN regards to offering an incentive for them leaving, I am in agreement with that, but if you have never been through a cash for keys situation, then I feel it's best to let a professional handle it the first go around. New landlords often have sympathy for tenants they are trying to get rid of and it ends up costing a lot more time, money and headaches in the long run.
  • November 20 2012
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Wetdawgs is spot on, which seems to happen a lot, they are protected.  What I was wondering and you answered, was is the person in the home now a tenant, because he was the previous owner that refused to leave...  You answered that though
  • November 20 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If the tenants were tenants of the previous owner, their lease is protected by Federal law.   Please go back to my original post in this thread.

You can simply go and introduce yourself to them, and let them know you didn't get a copy of the lease during the sale. Do they have a copy? (offer to pay for the  inconvenience of copying)   Start the interactions in a friendly manner.


  • November 20 2012
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Profile picture for patlordagent
Hire a local real estate attorney who specializes in evicitons to get a consultation. It should cost you less than $500 to solve or know the exact steps to take and 
avoid a lawsuit.
  • November 19 2012
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Thanks for quick response.The residents now living in the house are   the tenant of previous owner . Please advise me how to deal with them. I mean shall I write letter or shall i hire a real estate agent to negotiate with them to find out whether they have any lease and whether they are willing to pay the rent to us. All replies much appreciated.
  • November 19 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If the tenant is not a previous tenant, why are they in the property?  Or, perhaps I'm not understanding.

If you wish to lease the property, perhaps you already have a tenant and it would be a good thing. 

There is nothing wrong with chatting with them on  friendly terms to see what you can work out and what they would like to do.  Perhaps you both have the same hope in mind.
  • November 19 2012
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Go introduce yourself and do not fight.  Cash for keys, is the best way to go regardless who lives there. Attorney will cost you even more and eviction- by the time you eviced them they may destroy your house. Our company deals with this kind of stuff all the time and almost 99% of tenants will go for cash and leave permises clean.Hope it helps.
  • November 19 2012
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I like to add that the property is located in Florida.
  • November 19 2012
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I much  appreciate your reply. No the tenant is not a previous tenant. We like to lease the property . I am a small business owner and I purchase the business in the name of my company. Now should i go to property and talk with them or I write a letter? Thanking you
  • November 19 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
 If the house was foreclosed, then the tenant has rights protected by federal law if they are paying the rent.  If I remember properly:  If a month to month rental agreement, then you can give them 90 day notice.  If they have a lease, then they've got until the end of the lease unless you plan to move it as your primary residence, in which case it is 90 d notice.

If they aren't paying the rent, then eviction laws of your state hold.

If you don't want a tenant and they have  a lease, sometimes cash for keys speaks.   Make it well worth their effort to move.
  • November 19 2012
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It sort of depends. What are your plans for the property? Do you want to be a landlord?  You need to talk with the tenant and either ask them nicely to move or agree apon a lease.  The last thing you want is a tenant that doesn't want ot move, will not pay rent and you will need to evict them. 
  Also if you plan to remodel will the tenant be able to stay there? 
 Be careful how you proceed you don't want to break the law. I would suggest contacting a attorney.
 Good luck
  • November 19 2012
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is the tenant the previous owner?
  • November 19 2012
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