first property at courthouse auction

16 Replies

I just purchased my first property at a foreclosure auction. The property is currently occupied, I believe there are tenants in there. I have tried knocking several times and no one answers. What is the best way to get someone out? thanks! I am located in Charleston SC.

You need start the eviction process.....I’ve purchased homes where the people still resided, but we were able to get them out before filing the eviction process. I would even offer to help them with the move out process, offer cash to get them out, etc. But if you can’t get a hold of them, the eviction process is the only route. 

And @Bruce C. is right, hire an attorney. 

Good luck! 

@Jeffrey Townsend yes once you have completed the home sale and the deed is in your name. You will be able to start the eviction process. Depending on your municipality, it could take between 30-90 days.

Originally posted by @Thomas Jackson :

@Jeffrey Townsend yes once you have completed the home sale and the deed is in your name. You will be able to start the eviction process. Depending on your municipality, it could take between 30-90 days.

Not necessarily true. Federal rules protect tenants at foreclosure. It doesn't matter what local rules are unless the local rules are more strict than the Federal rules. If they have a valid lease, you have to honor the lease, for the duration of the lease. That doesn't stop you from offering cash for keys but they have no obligation to accept it and you cannot evict them.

@Ron S. the whole point of an eviction is to void a lease. If the tenant even has one by chance and are not breaking any part of the lease, which you will 100% be able to find something they are breaking in the lease, whether that be not paying, noise/disturbance complaints etc.... there’s pretty much a guarantee you can get them evicted. As far as the “federal” part goes, that’s kind of like the marijuana laws......aka the fed aren’t going to get involve in petty local municipality issues. 


Originally posted by @Thomas Jackson :

@Ron S. the whole point of an eviction is to void a lease. If the tenant even has one by chance and are not breaking any part of the lease, which you will 100% be able to find something they are breaking in the lease, whether that be not paying, noise/disturbance complaints etc.... there’s pretty much a guarantee you can get them evicted. As far as the “federal” part goes, that’s kind of like the marijuana laws......aka the fed aren’t going to get involve in petty local municipality issues. 

I'm well aware of what the whole point is but you don't get to do that if the tenant has a legitimate lease. If you want to add parameters not mentioned in your first post, ok, we can dissect that as well but my response was based on your first post, which is not necessarily true.

I would not recommend you compare federal foreclosure protection rules to marijuana laws. I am very confident that not only would any attorney be happy to take up a case pro bono, they'd probably thank you and send you a Christmas gift afterwards for all the money you made them with your false assumptions.  Can you get away with breaking a Federal law? Sure, probably. Is it smart to evict someone that may have federal protections? I don't think so.

I'm not trying to be flippant here but you swing a hammer for a living, I foreclose on homes with tenants for a living. I won't tell you what code is on a header for a 48" window, if you don't tell me how foreclosure rules work or whether they are enforced or not. 

 

@Thomas Jackson Your statement is a bit delusional.....

Are you actually saying that an eviction can be used to void a lease that the tenant has not breached?

Also, the feds wouldn’t have to “get involved”.....you don’t think the local judges handling evictions certainly know, and abide by, the fed laws that apply?

Ok @Ron S. the professional on the subject.... enlighten me and explain to Jeff how the process would go. I’m just going off of my own experience from buying foreclosed properties. Technically they don’t even have a “lease” right? They used to own the home, so what does one do? The last home I purchased with a tenant inside still, we started the process, but it didn’t have to come to an actual eviction, they eventually moved out...but that certainly doesn’t mean the tenants just have the right to live in the house indefinitely without any sort of eviction. 

Please fill us in on how the “legal-federal” process would go! 

Thanks! 

Originally posted by @Thomas Jackson :

Ok @Ron S. the professional on the subject.... enlighten me and explain to Jeff how the process would go. I’m just going off of my own experience from buying foreclosed properties. Technically they don’t even have a “lease” right? They used to own the home, so what does one do? The last home I purchased with a tenant inside still, we started the process, but it didn’t have to come to an actual eviction, they eventually moved out...but that certainly doesn’t mean the tenants just have the right to live in the house indefinitely without any sort of eviction. 

Please fill us in on how the “legal-federal” process would go! 

Thanks! 

I'd be happy to enlighten you. As previously stated, if the occupant has a legitimate lease (not saying they do or do not), the lease survives the foreclosure in its entirety. This does not include the the previous home owner or their immediate family. The foreclosing entity steps in as the landlord (Successor in Interest) and the contract between the landlord and the tenant continues so long as both parties perform (Not saying they are or aren't performing). If the landlord wants to terminate the lease, they are not allowed to do so, absent a breach of the covenants of the lease and even in the event of breach, it may be curable (Not saying it is curable or isn't curable). If they breach, and if they cure the breach, the lease continues so, even though you say you can look for any little thing possible to try to void the lease, as long as you give the tenant notice of the breach (You have to), and the tenant cures the breach, yes, you guessed it, the lease survives and continues. If they violate a noise ordinance, they get to cure it. If they are late with the rent, they get to cure it. If they damage the place, they get to cure it. Absent the most egregious breach, very few instances would be deemed incurable.

To your next point, no. Incorrect. "Technically" they DO have a lease after a foreclosure (Assuming there was one to begin with). As i stated above though, none of these protections are afforded to the occupant if they are the previous homeowner that was foreclosed on, or their immediate family members. Absent a lease, the occupant gets 90 days minimum (Assuming its not the previous owner or family). Even if you void the lease as a successor in interest because you intend to occupy the property, they still get 90 days minimum.

So how does it go for Jeff? My expertise is foreclosing so, knowing that, i engage counsel specialized in evictions immediately, if my foreclosed property has an occupant, regardless of who the occupant is. The $700 it might cost me for an eviction lawsuit pales in comparison to the cost of litigation i may face by doing something wrong or assuming i know what i'm doing with evictions after foreclosure. Jeff's eviction attorney should send a certified letter to any/all occupants of the home, if its occupied. Introduce himself, inform the occupant of who he is (Successor in Interest/representative of the successor in interest). Ask for their names, ask them to contact him, ask for a copy of any lease. If no one responds within a reasonable time, file an unlawful retainer. If someone does respond and doesn't have a lease, notify them of their requirement to vacate the premises after 90 days. If they have a lease and its legitimate, congratulations, Jeff is now a landlord (If he isn't going to occupy the property). There is nothing prohibiting anyone from knocking on the door, or offering cash for keys. My whole point is, hold on, you don't get to just evict someone because you bought a property at foreclosure. As Wayne points out, no one needs to get the feds involved...every local judge in the state will hand you your arse if you just start trying to evict people that may be protected.

 I don't want you to take my word for it. Read the letter from the Federal Reserve below:

https://www.federalreserve.gov...

Thanks for the info, so what happens to the occupant if they are the ones who were foreclosed on? Which is probably the case most of the time..... same process? 

Originally posted by @Thomas Jackson :

Thanks for the info, so what happens to the occupant if they are the ones who were foreclosed on? Which is probably the case most of the time..... same process? 

 If the occupant is the former owner, they have no protection. You can try cash for keys or, wake them up the day after the foreclosure with a three day notice on their door, followed by an unlawful detainer filing. Cash for keys might be cheaper. A threat might yield a bulldozer on the property the next day by the former owner in retaliation.

Yeah this is where we had the information a little misconstrued. People that are renters of the property vs the original owners. Much different outcomes, but nonetheless no information is bad information! 

Thanks for the Clarification @Ron S.

@Thomas Jackson I had to evict someone in West Ashley and I was actually surprised how fast the process went. It all depends if the tenants will drag out their stay by putting up a fight. My tenant left once he was served papers and I was able to get back in my property and get it ready for other renters.

Originally posted by @Ron S. :
Originally posted by @Thomas Jackson:

Thanks for the info, so what happens to the occupant if they are the ones who were foreclosed on? Which is probably the case most of the time..... same process? 

 If the occupant is the former owner, they have no protection. You can try cash for keys or, wake them up the day after the foreclosure with a three day notice on their door, followed by an unlawful detainer filing. Cash for keys might be cheaper. A threat might yield a bulldozer on the property the next day by the former owner in retaliation.

this law changed some years back and its forclosure buying one oh one to know this law..  its not common but it does happen.. the lease has to be 3rd party and at or near market value.. cant put a friend in there for 300 a month on a 1200 dollar rental that type of thing. 

but yes as a buyer of a foreclosure you have to honor a legit lease for the full term.. ..  

 

@Bruce C. Offers you the most solid advice.

My assumption is if you begin the eviction proceedings quickly (which you should as soon as the property is in your name) that you’ll learn a lot.

If they have a good lease, they will pony it up. It’s now a rental for you with a tenant, and as long as they pay you are doing good.

If they are the folks who got foreclosed on or don’t have a good lease, they will be evicted.

We use a constable or deputy to deliver the eviction notice, never do ourselves anymore. Your attorney can walk you through that. You want them involved early, as if goes to court you’ll need them.