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Remove former tenants

I am buying a foreclosed home. The tenants that the bank allowed to stay there now refuse to leave. How do I get them out. I live in California.
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September 29 2011 - Pittsburg
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Answers (6)

Well, this is one of the joys of buying foreclosure properties. You could cancel or delay the closing, and try to force the seller's to take action to get them out, however, with the lopsided unfair addendums they make you sign, you might very well lose your earnest money.

My personal advice, if this deal is really good, look at this as one more cost of the house. Leave a letter for them, offering them a small sum, like $500 or $1000 to get out of the home within a week of your purchase, to leave all items that are supposed to be there and not damage the property. This will be much cheaper and quicker than an eviction. 
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September 29 2011
This is a legal issue and a civil matter (which is why the banks do not normally get involved). Talk to your Realtor and see what your options are. Most contracts stipulate that any tenants occupying the property must vacate 5 days (or more if stipulated in the contract) before close of escrow or there is a breach of contract. However, being a bank owned property, the bank's contract addendum over-rides the California Purchase Addendum so review that carefully. Also, most lenders will not fund your loan unless the property is vacant, so if you're financing your purchase, you may have an issue.

If you accept the property with tenants at close of escrow you become a landlord and must follow proper procedure, even if they are not paying rent (for example, eviction proceedings).

Talk to your Realtor about your strategy and your options and your Realtor should be able to refer you to a real estate attorney. 
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September 29 2011
Profile picture for cyn5333
Yes it is in the contract but Freddie Mac refuses to do anything.
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September 29 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Why doesn't the bank do anything?  Did your contract specify that the property must be vacant before closing? 
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September 29 2011
Profile picture for cyn5333
Thank you, they have not paid rent so are legally squatters. I don't understand why the bank doesn't do anything before we close.
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September 29 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
If they refuse to leave and the term of the lease is over, you would probably have to evict them. If the lease is still in effect, I believe that in CA you as the new owner have to honor the remaining lease, but I am not a lawyer so you'd have to check that for yourself. 

I think you might need to talk to a real estate attorney to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. You might also try to see if there is a local landlord association in your area. They can help you and also may be able to refer you to a local attorney that handles tenant issues.
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September 29 2011
 
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