New Owner, Can I break a current tenant lease? (New Mexico)

6 Replies

Hello BP,

I just closed on my first 4 plex using my VA Loan which means I have to occupy one of the units. I must move in by Jan 1, 2017. All 4 units are currently rented, 2 are month-by-month and the others have contracts until Feb 1st. The best tenants are the month-by-month ones, and the problem child is one on contract. I know this because I created a relationship with the other tenants and they all point the finger at that one. Having said that, I want to evict them since I have to move in and I also want to get rid of those problems. I have not notified them of anything yet.

My question is, as a new owner, do I have to respect the current lease they have or can I simply give them notice to vacate. If I cant just void their lease, can I get some tips on offering cash for keys or other things you guy have tried.

Also, can I raise the rent on the tenants on contract?

All help will greatly be appreciated!

Thank You

You have to honor the leases.

You'll have to honor the lease. Your only out is to either evict them on legitimate grounds or, when their lease is up, you explain that they need to reapply to meet your basic standards to move into the unit. If they don't meet your standards then you can give them notice. If they do, fine, but you'll have to follow state guidelines that dictate how many days of notice you must give.

You do have to honor the lease, however, if there is a Sale of Property clause(or something similar), you may be able to terminate their lease. For instance, in all of my leases, it reads as follows:

SALE OF PROPERTY: If the Premises is sold, the Tenant(s) are to be notified of the new Owner, and if there is a new Manager, and their contact details for repairs and maintenance shall be forwarded. If the Premises is conveyed to another party, the new owner shall have the right to terminate this Agreement.

The new owner shall have the right to terminate only after providing 30 DAYS notice to the Tenant(s)

You would have to double check if this will hold up in court, preferably by contacting an attorney, but you may be able to glean some information from any Landlord/Tenant Laws for the state.

If this clause isn't in the current lease, you may be out of luck. If it's not in the lease, it still may be in your best interest to contact an attorney, as there may be a loophole in Texas' Landlord/Tenant laws that I'm unaware of.

Good luck!

You could implement new tenant rules that ban whatever behavior he is accused of doing, then serve him notice that he's broken the rules (following state law), if he doesn't correct, you move to evict. But to do it before Jan, 2017 means you have to be on it like yesterday. 

What is the behavior that everyone disapproves of? What does the old landlord say about him? What is his rental payment history? 

Why not delay closing a month? 

Read and learn your state landlord tenant regulations. You should have done that before you purchased the property. Once you know the regulations regulating the business you will have the answers to your tenant questions and more.

The regulations will include language regarding owner occupancy rights.

Usually a new owner has the right to terminate a tenants lease for personal occupancy. It would be an eviction.

What unit do you want to live in? That would be my personal choice first as to whom I would give termination notice to . 

Dealing with the Problem tenant is going to be bigger issue if your not in by date of your VA mtg agreement, you can always non-renew him later and save that for less stressful time down the line. YOUR first priority is to get yourself in the building the most sensible and easiest way possible.

Know and learn your rental laws for your state.

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