Do I have to evict sellers tenant?

Do I have to evict sellers tenant?
The house I am buying is still occupied by the sellers tenant. The seller verbally told me when the tenant would be out, but I appears that the tenant will not be out by that date. There is no stipulation in my contract for tenant consideration. I do not know the details of the tenants contract with the seller. Escrow has closed. I want to move in. Am I still bound by the rental agreement, or can I consider the tenant as a tresspasser?

5 thoughts on “Do I have to evict sellers tenant?

  1. Re: Do I have to evict sellers tenant?
    Yes you do. You cannot just lock the doors or throw them out. Your real estate broker/agent should have handled this issue. You may want to negotiate with tenant before doing 30 day notice and other eviction procedure. Hopefully it is only a month to month lease.

    Joel Selik
    Attorney/Real Estate Broker

    Joel Selik
    Box 1448
    San Diego And Las Vegas, CA 92079

  2. Re: Do I have to evict sellers tenant?
    Sadly, the best course would be for you to evict the tenants. However, you may be able to save steps if you contact the tenants directly to find what if you can work things out informally. You should work with the seller as well in getting copies of the rental agreements as well. You may need to the tenants and seller involved in the action. However, you cannot engage in self help by kicking the tenant out without the courts being involved. Sometimes the tenants just need additional time, i.e. for a new apartment to be ready or moving expenses require an additional pay period. Talk to the tenant and an attorney who handles a evictions. Good luck.

    Reginald Fleming-Peters
    Cohen & Rudd
    225 South Lake Avnue, Suite 300
    Pasadena, CA 91101

  3. Re: Do I have to evict sellers tenant?
    Yes, you do. Depending on your sales contract, the seller may be liable for your damages/costs in evicting the tenant, if seller promised in writing to remove the tenant. The safest and best course is to serve the 30-day notice terminating tenancy–you may also be able to work out a settlement with the tenants by agreeing to pay them off to move out right away. If not, at least you’ve got the eviction process started by giving the proper 30-day notice.

    Chris Johnson
    Christopher B. Johnson, Attorney at Law
    790 East Colorado Boulevard, Ninth Floor
    Pasadena, CA 91101

  4. Re: Do I have to evict sellers tenant?
    A lot will depend on what the lease/rental with the previous owner says. If it is a month to month, you can give a 30 day notice. The sale of a rental property that is on a lease automatically terminates the tenancy UNLESS there is a clause that says that the tenancy will survive.

    Someone has some liability to you, whether it is the seller or real estate agents.

    If the tenancy can be terminated, you will need to evict the tenants unless they move out on their own.

    Let me know if you need help.

    Ken Koenen
    Koenen & Tokunaga, P.C.
    5776 Stoneridge Mall Rd., Suite 350
    Pleasanton, CA 94588

  5. Re: Do I have to evict sellers tenant?
    When a landlord sells rented premises while a tenant is living there, the new owner becomes a landlord and steps into the prior owner/landlord’s shoes, UNLESS the tenant’s lease contains a provision to the contrary, i.e. the lease says sale triggers an early termination of the lease.

    A minor exception is that an unlawful detainer action commenced by the prior landlord cannot be pursued by the new landlord. The original landlord loses standing as of the closing, and a new unlawful detainer would be required.

    The tenant’s lease is not abrogated by the mere act of the landlord’s selling the property during an unexpired term.

    A party in possession after the end of a lease, whether the lease ended by expiration of its term or due to lessee’s breach, should not be considered a trespasser, and usually has some limited rights to remain on the premises until the appropriate legal process is carried out by the person claiming a superior right to possession (a new tenant, the owner, etc.). The process is usually an unlawful detainer action, but can be ejectment, trespass, quiet title, and perhaps others depending upon the facts and circumstances.

    Your first step is to find out the facts about the tenancy, focusing on what kind of rental agreement or lease is or was involved and whether it is expired. If it is not expired and the tenant is not in breach, you probably can’t evict the tenant and you’ll need to go after the seller and/or the agents involved instead.

    You may perhaps want to talk to the tenant directly to get his/her story, but avoid harassing or threatening because the tenant may have substantial rights and you don’t want to violate them, if any. Depending upon what your early questioning discloses, you may want to lay the blame for this mess at the feet of the seller and his/her agent or broker.

    Bryan Whipple
    Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
    P O Box 318
    Tomales, CA 94971-0318

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