5 DO’s & DON’TS WHEN BUYING TENANT-OCCUPIED PROPERTY
5 DO’s and DON’TS WHEN BUYING TENANT-OCCUPIED PROPERTY
GOAL: Homeowners can start the process of evicting tenants when the house goes on the market. By the time the sale closes, the tenants will be gone.
1. UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE TENANCY
a. Is there a structured lease agreement between the landlord or tenant? If there is, then the tenancy can properly be terminated according to the Agreement. Where the agreement is silent (without a termination clause), the Parties are governed by payment periods. Therefore, if rent is payable in monthly installments, a month’s notice is sufficient to terminate the tenancy.
b. Are the tenants related to the Landlord?
“Familiarity breeds contempt”. The proverb translates that extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them. In most where the tenancy is between persons of familial or friendly relationships, the business relationship suffers. A landlord in this instance will have difficulty collecting rent and real troubles evicting these classes of persons. We advise that you retain the services of an experienced lawyer to craft and deliver this eviction notice. In our experience, this has accomplished 100% success.
Once the notice has been delivered by a neutral third party, the family members or friends are reminded of the business relationship. This may sever ties, however, the goal of selling or buying the subject premises will be ultimately achieved, within the required time.
2. UNDERSTAND YOUR TRUE POSITION
Understanding your true position requires awareness of yourself and the situation you are in.
In today’s real estate market, we find more persons are willing to buy tenant-occupied properties especially in the familial situations specified above. At this juncture, we have a practical discussion with the client, especially after valuation is done. Say the property is being sold 50-100% less than its true market value. We examine the associated risks and costs of removing a tenant in this matter. This is then factored in the purchasing price.
In most instances, once the matter is handled in a timely fashion, it is worth the risk, without going to court.
3. DON’T ACCEPT ORAL ASSURANCES THAT THE TENANTS WILL BE OUT, BY THE TIME THE SALE IS COMPLETE.
“vacant possession” is perhaps one of the most critical terms in transactions involving tenants. Usually, the seller is not willing to agree to its inclusion in the sale agreement. We usually urge clients to insist on it. If there is an impasse, then the Client is usually required to consider #2 above (Know your true position.
4. DON’T THREATEN OR INTIMIDATE THE TENANT INTO LEAVING THE PROPERTY.
Some landlords become increasingly frustrated and take matters into their own hands. Resist the urge to take steps such as changing locks or removing personal property from the residence. You may find yourself the subject of criminal charges. Have a properly drafted notice delivered to the tenant and allow due process to take place.
5. DON’T DESPAIR
We understand the complications that may arise when you found the perfect property and discover that there are tenants living in it. Don’t fret if this is the house for you. Once properly notified in keeping with the law, the tenants are usually required to leave. It really is that simple.
JA Property Associates is a client-focused Jamaican Real Estate Law firm located in Kingston. We specialize in the legal aspects of real estate sale, purchases and property titles.
Contact us at email@example.com or call (876) 291-0037