Profile picture for Tiger nathan

The relationship between a tenancy-at-will agreement and a new landlord

I will buy a house in Boston. The house has a tenant with a tetancy-at-will agreement. The tenant collects social security and she lives there for over 10 years. Can I let her go with a 30-day notice? Thanks for your expertise and experience.
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November 27 2010 - Boston
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Answers (8)

Due to quite a few variables I would recommend that you gather all the information you can about the tenant and contact a good real estate attorney.  Only then will you know what available actions you can take with this situation.

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November 28 2010
One suggestion I highly recommend to anyone buying an occupied dwelling:

Be sure to have the tenant sign an acknowledgement of ownership of appliances.  It's not uncommon for disputes to arise months or years later when a tenant moves and claims that the fridge, washer and dryer are theirs and not part of the unit.  Even if the appliances are specified in the purchase agreement, be sure to have the tenant(s) sign a document confirming ownership of appliances PRIOR to closing.

Good luck!
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November 28 2010
The laws may be different if the person is elderly. Would you want a thirty day notice? Make sure the tenant knows well in advance that they need to find suitable housing. You may even help them if possible. 10 years is a long time to live somewhere and the more notice you give someone the better. For you and the tenant.
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November 28 2010
To be safe I would consult a real estate attorney in that state........good luck
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November 28 2010
Profile picture for the_country_hick
The easiest and simplest approach here is to demand the house be delivered vacant. That way you do not have to deal with a tenant. This can be accomplished with a contingency in your contract.

If the present owner gets rid of the tenant your problems and concerns are gone.
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November 27 2010
You should also check the copy of your current agreement & possibly have it reviewed by an attorney. Massachusetts is a very pro-tenant state. You have to conform to all the steps along the way & make sure to send registered, return receipt request mail & notices to them. 30 days might be tough if they decide to contest it or if there are children, the elderly or infirm in the property. 60-90 days I've seen in those cases but sometimes it can get strung out with court appearances, mediation & judicial action to up to 6-9 months. Are you sure you want them out in the winter when it's a bit tougher to find new tenants or occupy the property yourself? These are all things you can review with a real estate attorney.
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November 27 2010
Profile picture for sunnyview
It looks like an at will tenancy in MA only gets a 30 day legal notice here. The kind thing to do for a long term tenant on a fixed income would be to give her as much notice as possible if you want her to move, but the law requires less. You can find more landlord tenant law straight from the MA AG's guide here. Hope it helps.
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November 27 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
You will have to check your state laws (usually googled under "landlord/tenant law").  Most areas this would require 90 day notice.

Social security should not be part of the decision unless you wish to be sued for age discrimination.
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November 27 2010
 
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