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Working With Current Tenants When You Buy Property

 Posted on April 21, 2024 in Real Estate Law

TX real estate lawyerFew landlords, especially those who own apartment buildings, can wait until all current tenants’ leases have expired before selling their property. If you are buying a property that has already been on the rental market for some time, there will probably be tenants living there when you close. You will be required to honor their leases. Unless you have just cause, you cannot remove the current residents until their leases expire. If the last landlord was a good property manager, taking over occupied units may simplify your job. Otherwise, you may face some challenges with difficult tenants. You should be represented by a Tarrant County, TX real estate attorney when you buy occupied property. 

Tips for Working With Current Tenants After Buying an Occupied Property 

Some tips for keeping the transition as smooth as possible include:

  • Introduce yourself - Distributing a letter to your tenants explaining the sale and introducing yourself can go a long way towards initiating positive landlord-tenant communications. 
  • Inspect if you need to - If you have concerns about some tenants or the condition of their units, you may want to exercise your right to conduct an inspection. Make sure to give enough notice to allow your tenants time to tidy up - and to comply with the law - but not so much time that they could try to repair significant damages themselves. 
  • Take reasonable complaints seriously - If you receive multiple complaints about the same tenant engaging in conduct that violates the lease or interferes with other tenants’ rights to quiet enjoyment, take these complaints seriously and enforce the lease. You do not want your tenants to believe that no one is enforcing the rules. 
  • Make repairs or improvements - If you make a few simple repairs that the former owner had neglected - like replacing a loose handrail on the stairs or adjusting an outdoor light that was pointing into a tenant’s window - your tenants will likely be appreciative and more likely to cooperate with you. 
  • Swiftly enforce lease terms - If you notice that a certain provision in the lease has not been enforced and the lack of enforcement is causing issues, it is better to try to bring your tenants into compliance sooner rather than later. 

Working with existing tenants can be easier than vetting a building full of new tenants yourself. However, there is also some risk involved. 

Contact a Cleburne, TX Real Estate Attorney

Cain & Kiel Law can guide you through the process of purchasing and taking over the management of an occupied building. Experienced Tarrant County, TX real estate attorney Scott Cain has served as the mayor of Cleburne, TX since 2012. Contact us at 817-645-1717 for a confidential consultation. 

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