newbie question, looking to close on my first investment property there is a renter in place. It's a cash deal. What's my next step as far as first last and security deposit? The previous owner is supposed to refund the renter prior to close? Do I need to put this in contract?
No, the seller should not refund the renter. It should be credited to you at closing. My advice is to make sure you handle this closing through a title agency or real estate attorney to make sure that you get all the proper credits.
If the tenant has a signed lease, you are going to be bound to the terms of the lease agreement until it expires.
All my contracts where I purchase with a renter I get that at close or credit...
Congrats on the first deal! Make sure you read the lease and you are comfortable with the language. You don't want to find out the tenant is there for 2 more years at 300 per month under market. You will be stuck with the tenant. Make sure you get all pertinent info from seller in regards to tenant, if he has it. You want this info in case you have to evict later on.
It is a good idea to get a letter from the tenant agreeing how much the security deposit was. You don't want them to later claim they gave $1000 when you only get credited for $750 for example