I took on an existing lease when I bought my latest rental unit

3 Replies

I took on an existing lease when I bought my latest rental unit. I will keep the tenant and the property management company that the previous owner used. Is it normal to sign a new lease with an existing tenant or just to take over the existing lease without signing anything new?

My concern is the current lease has the previous owner's name and signature on it. My name is not on it at all. Its not that I want to change any of the terms and conditions in the lease but what legal rights will I have if I ever need to evict the tenant, for example? When I mentioned this to the property management company they clearly thought my concern was strange and that by the mere fact of my taking ownership of the property, all rights in the lease were automatically assigned to me.

What would you do? Would you insist on signing a new lease or, at a minimum, an addendum to the lease? Would you go a step further and request that the previous owner also sign a release that they relinquish all rights under the lease agreement in my favor?

I'd do what your PM suggested. When you purchase a property any leases rights/responsibilities convey with the property. At most you should seek an e-stoppel (should have done that prior to close). An e-stoppel just has the tenant agreeing to the general terms as you understand them (monthly payment, who is resp for utilities, what if any personal property such as appliances they supplied and which you supplied ect).

You can ask the tenant to sign a new lease, understand however they have 0 obligation to do so as their current lease is still in effect.

@Matt Devincenzo  

Thank you. This puts my mind at rest somewhat. I don't like that my name isn't on the agreement but as long as I would be recognized as a party to the agreement by virtue of owning the property, then I guess I would be comfortable.

You're really worried about nothing. The lease runs with the property and the tenants hold a leasehold estate in the property as long as the lease is in effect. Just run with it and then notify them that you will ask them to sign a new lease when the current one terminates.

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