Moving into an already rented unit?

6 Replies

Hello BP! This is my first post, and I'm really excited to become active on the forums.

I'm scheduled to close in one week on my very first property - a 4-plex in Beaverton, OR (just west of Portland).

All four units are currently rented; only one is mo-to-mo and has already expressed interest in moving out (at least according to the seller). This will be an owner-occupied investment, so whether the tenant actually wants to move or not they must vacate no later than 60 days after closing (seller has provided the written notice). This means I may have to manage the property for up to 60 days with a tenant who probably feels pretty indignant. What can I do to make the transition as smooth as possible?

Thanks in advance!

Tenants are often  worried about what hapens to their security deposit when a building changes hands.  I would be drafting my New Owner Letter, introducing yourself and reassuring your tenants that their security deposits have been transferred, giving your contact information, and telling them how they should pay their rent.  I would add a paragraph in the letter going to the departing resident that it is your understanding they will be leaving by ____, and ask them to notify you when they are ready for the walkthrough,  Remind them that you will need a forwarding address for sending the security deposit accounting.  I would not mention that you are moving into the apartment.  If questioned, I would tell them it is needed for the resident manager.  Keep it business like, and the reminder about the security deposit should help. 

Too late to do this in your case, but the thing to do would have been to write into your offer that 1 of the units (even a specific unit) be delivered vacant at close of escrow ... then you wouldn't close until/unless the unit was vacant, and it is the seller's issue to sort out, not yours. This becomes extra important if you have/had a tenant in that wasn't paying rent or otherwise breaking the terms of the lease, but can also be used as in your case to ensure you have the unit you want to move into vacant.

The notice the prior owner gave is basically void after you take possession,, you would need to re notice for non-renewal / notice to vacate the same apartment.. so make sure you get that done.. if they agreed to move out with prior owner shouldn't be a issue but it could be.. 

Just make sure you download you landlord tenant laws for your state.

Make sure copies of  all leases, addendum's, application forms, security deposits w interest , Assignment and Assumption of leases is set for closing.. 

@Deanna McCormick, why would the current owner's notice be void? Is there a specific law that covers this? Both my agent and lender see it as sufficient.

Thank you all for the responses!

Any notice by a current owner terminates and becomes null and void upon transfer of ownership of a property. A previous owner has no rights or authority over any tenant after closing. This is the reason a buyer must make vacant occupancy at closing mandatory. This way the notice is given and carried out prior to transfer of ownership. 

Issue a new notice as soon as you become owner simply to protect yourself. It may not be a issue but if your tenant knows his rights he can ignore the previous notice. 

Your agent and lender do not have to suffer the consequences you do so ignore their advice and simply cover your butt. In this business never assume or trust any tenant.