Inheriting a rental property My mother-in-law recently passed away.

Inheriting a rental property
My mother-in-law recently passed away. She owned a condominium in a resort town near the Jersey shore which she left in my wifes name in her will. For the past year or so, she was renting the condo out to a nice couple who always pays there rent on time. And my mother-in-law never had any problems with these tenants. My wife wishes to sell the condo but she isn’t familiar with the ins and outs of being a landlord and doesn’t wish to start now. The only other information that I can provide is that we do not believe that the tenant never signed a lease. Although my mother-in-law did draw up a lease agreement when they first moved in, she had told me a while ago that he never signed this document. Our questions is ”Whah recourse do we, as new landlords have? We wish to sell the condo but don’t know how to go about asking him to move out. How much notice do we have to give him by law? Should we hire an attorney to handle this matter? Your assistance with this matter would be greatly appreciated.

3 thoughts on “Inheriting a rental property My mother-in-law recently passed away.

  1. Re: Inheriting a rental property
    Assuming that there is no lease, the tenant would be on a month-to-month tenancy and could be asked to move out with as little as one month’s notice. Since they have been there for a long time, it would be appropriate to give them more time because a judge would probably find very short notice in the absence of good cause to be a reason to search for equitable exceptions.

    If the tenants are uncooperative, don’t count on being able to get them out on your schedule. It may take some time if you have to use the court and the better policy may be to enlist their cooperation.

    You have a lot of options other than becoming landlords. One is to offer the property to the current tenants, perhaps by taking back a mortgage to finance the purchase. Since you are not familiar with your options, you should discuss them with a professional who is. There are some good realtors that can help. Ask around in the area of the property for some recommendations. Involve your lawyer at an early stage. It is likely that the same lawyer can help with the tenant (if there is a problem) and will also help with the sale.

    My firm handles matters of this type. If I can be of further help to you, call or email.

    See also:

    John Corbett
    Corbett Law Firm LLC
    303 Walnut Ave.
    Evesham, NJ 08053-7016

  2. Re: Inheriting a rental property
    You really should speak with an attorney about this. The law is actually on your side and you will have the ability to evict the tenant if necessary. However, if they were that friendly with your mother-in-law, don’t be surprised if they are more cooperative than you expect. On the other hand, if they are not, you will be able to get them out and get it sold.

    You should also discuss with them the possibility of them buying it. And, you may want to reconsider whether you want to be a landlord. Long term tenants tend to keep their properties very nicely and it might not be that big of a problem.

    Keep in mind that this advice is given based on the little bit of information that you have
    provided in your question. My advice may change based on other information. Further, no one
    can rely on advice from an attorney who has not been retained. You cannot rely on this advice
    because we have not personally met and you have not retained me as an attorney. If you have not
    already done so, you should immediately meet with a Real Estate attorney who also has experience with Landlord/Tenant issues for a full consultation before you take any further steps. You may feel free to call me to discuss this matter in more
    detail. If you do so, mention Law Guru and your first one hour of time will be free. Good luck!
    Rob Gleaner

    Robert Gleaner
    Robert A. Gleaner, P.C.
    415 S. White Horse Pike
    Audubon, NJ 08106

  3. Re: Inheriting a rental property
    Keep it simple when you can… FIRST, speak with the tenant, tell him you want to sell, but he has been a good tenant, and ask him how long he would need to move. As John said, he is probably on a month-to-month basis now, but, first talk with him. Chances are he won’t fight with you, and he will appreciate you giving him more than 1 month to move out. Shoot for 90 days and out. If he fights, THEN worry about the legalities and get an attorney.

    Kevin Begley
    Kevin J. Begley – Attorney at Law
    3010 Bordentown Avenue
    Parlin, NJ 08859

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