Help w/Inherited Tenant

5 Replies


We just purchased a property in Philadelphia and with that property we inherited a tenant that was in the unit.

The tenant that we inherited is refusing to pay rent and refusing to let us do repairs.

The inherited tenant did sign the new lease, but did not pay us.

Any recommendations on what we should do and is the lease valid?

If you both signed a new lease of course it's valid.  First thing is to get them out of the property!  If they are not paying rent, follow your states eviction laws (e.g. Pay or quit) and get them out of the property.  Regaining possession is #1 priority.  If the repairs are something that cannot wait because delaying them will cause damage to the building, then follow your state laws for owner entry, give proper notice of entry, and conduct the repairs.

Thank you Logan and Dick for your responses and advice. With this information, we are going to research the state laws further in regards to the notice of entry.

@Jake Valkusky I know most states allow you to provide a 48 hour notice to gain entry to the unit. I would suggest to serve the notice and enter the unit to complete the repairs.

If the tenant becomes confrontational you could always have a police escort.

@Jake Valkusky , your lease is valid. Even if you didn't have the tenant sign a term lease you would have a month-to-month lease with him/her. So no matter which way to turn it over you are a landlord with a valid tenant.

You are permitted to enter the unit with a 24 hour (in PA) notice of entry to make repairs to prevent further damage to the property and ensure the safety of the tenants.  This is regardless, of the tenants wishes.  There are two ways to get this tenant out.  Pay the tenant to leave (I don't think this is ever a good idea) or evict.

May I suggest two things to do before making your move.  Familiarize yourself with the landlord-tenants laws and regulations in Philadelphia (check the City of Philadelphia website). Secondly, look into joining an organization such as HAPCO.  They provide eviction services at nominal fees for members.