Evicting Previous Owner New Hampshire

9 Replies

Hey BP,

I am considering buying a home at auction. The home is currently occupied by the previous owner or a tenant not really sure. 

I was wondering what the process is like to evict the current tenant/owner if I was to purchase the house. Do any of you have experience with this in the state of NH?



I would try talking to the person occupying the home. You can offer them cash to leave peacefully. I look at it as a win/win. I've never had to evict anyone so I can't help you there. 

Good luck


Agree with Tony as a first means of getting him/her out. A great landlord attorney in NH is Andy Sullivan in Manchester. The NHREIA will be a great resource for you as well. The process isn't too arduous in NH, just make sure you follow it to the letter if doing yourself, always best to use a decent attorney......  :)

Here’s some info: 

“Homeowners do not have a statute that provides them with specific protections like those found in RSA 540-A. Instead, New Hampshire allows non-judicial foreclosure under RSA 479:25. Pursuant to the statute, the mortgage holder need only give the homeowner 25 days’ notice of the auction. The notice informs the homeowner that she has the right to petition the court for an injunction to stop the foreclosure, but does not inform her that she will lose the right to go to court for legitimate claims, if she does not request an injunction before the auction.

An injunction is considered an extraordinary remedy. To win, the homeowner must prepare a winning case in just days, and without discovery. If the homeowner demonstrates to the court that she is entitled to an injunction, it is likely that she will need to post a bond. The amount of the bond is set by the judge at the injunction hearing and must be paid to stop the foreclosure.

If the lender holds the auction, that lender is not required to send notice to the homeowner that the auction was completed, or that the property was sold. The statute also does not contain a requirement that the homeowner be given notice if the auction is later voided because the buyer fails to pay the purchase price. Also, if the lender is holding escrow monies at the time of foreclosure, there is no statutory obligation to provide an account for how the money was applied.

After the foreclosure, the homeowner is entitled to an eviction notice. At the eviction hearing, the purchaser will provide evidence of property ownership. If the mortgagee purchased the property at the auction, the homeowner will not be allowed to raise any defenses based on unlawful conduct of the mortgagee prior to the auction. The homeowner lost this right by failing to request an injunction prior to the foreclosure.

The homeowner will not be protected by RSA 540-A because this statute does not protect tenants in foreclosed properties, unless the former homeowner established a landlord/tenant relationship with the purchaser after the sale. “

Hope that helps. :) 

Hi all,

Thanks for you input. If it comes to me having to pay them off to leave and its fair i may do that but I need to prepare myself for worst case. 

@Sarah McCoy I appreciate your elaborate response. I looked into RSA 540-A, as I understand it the current homeowner was given notice 25 days prior to auction. If the current homeowner did not petition the court for an injunction to stop foreclosure they gave up almost all their rights on the home. When I file for eviction after closing the court will see that they gave up their rights by not filing petition. 

Now, I am wondering 

1. How would I start the eviction process?

2. How long does the eviction process take?

3. In a typical Real Estate transaction personal property is not included in the sale is this still the case?

4. Who pays the final utility bills after sale?

Any answers you guys have would be great just trying to inform myself the best possible. 


@Jonathan Ramos

Best bet is to talk to the homeowner.

Offer them 30 days rent free and $1,500 once they're out as long as they're out when agreed, remove their belongings, and don't damage the property. You should be able to gauge their character during that conversation.

The eviction process in NH is fairly simple and straightforward, but it's important, as @Richard Dale-Mesaros said, to follow it to the letter, or it will get thrown out. Probably best to use an atty on the first one if you don't know how.

As for your 4th question, the homeowner/squatter/evictee will be responsible for any electricity in their name. Not sure about water/sewer bills due, unless they grew into actual liens, in which case they would be tacked on to your bid at auction.

As for your 3rd question, really? 

I get that they're facing foreclosure solely because they stopped paying the mortgage, but whatever the underlying reasons for doing so, they are now in a financial hardship. They just lost their home and you're trying to figure out if you can claim their personal belongings? C'mon man...

Apologies, of course, if I misinterpreted the intentions of your question. Most likely, once you evict them, you will have to hold onto their belongings for 7 days and allow them reasonable access to retrieve them. After the 7 days, you may dispose of them, but you can not keep or sell them. I'm not an attorney so don't rely on that; instead, consult your attorney.

Happy investing,


@Troy Zsofka

Thanks for your response. 

That's a great idea. I was also worrying if they will destroy the property as they vacate it in spite. Maybe cutting them a deal such as the one you proposed would be a great idea. 

As far as water/sewer I guess I will just have to wait and see. 

I do not want to remove all their clutter so I am not sure if I am now responsible also to remove all their belongings or if it now become mine and I have to remove everything out of the property. But i do see you point of view. Also if I acquire the property who is stuck with the storage/moving bill? I have rentals but never had to evict anyone thankfully.


Well-worded, Troy! Thank God it's now just 7 days, as opposed to the old 30 days!

 I bought a house in a short sale and gave the prior owner some time to get organized and get out - he took a weekend to clear everything he wanted out of there and after he was done, I had him sign an acknowledgment that he was satisfied he had no need for the remaining items. My dumpster showed up the next day and I spent probably the first two hours laying into this crappy old metal swinging rocker  on the front porch with a sledgehammer - it took some smashing to get it into pieces and after spreading the bits out on the floor of the dumpster, I proceeded to throw the entire remaining contents of the house into it. Toward the end of the day, he shows up again, looked at the empty porch and with a face like thunder asked "Where's my grandpa's rocker?" I looked at the porch, looked at him and pointed gingerly to the dumpster....... fortunately I didn't get shot and he didn't have a leg to stand on because of what I had him sign - phew!  :)

If it comes to eviction, definitely don't do your first one on your own, use an attorney.  Don't try to save a buck, it'll cost you more in the end.

Storage/moving costs:  if it is after the 7 days storage requirement after an eviction, then you are responsible to pay those costs.  After all, who are you going to get money from?  The foreclosing lender?  I don't think so.  The guy who lost everything?  Unlikely.  

Electricity:  Responsibility of the person in whose name the account was listed.  However, I've seen the utility try to transfer an old bill to the new owner.  One phone call will normally straighten that out.

Water/sewer:  the unpaid bill stays with the property.  

  • If the foreclosing lender actually took title (as in you are buying through an online auction site like Hubzu or Auction.com) then make sure a meter reading is taken at close that that those charges are paid by the selling bank on the HUD
  • If the lender didn't take title, and you bought at an actual foreclosure auction held in front of the property, then you will be responsible for those water/sewer bills, because they stay with the property

It can make a big difference as to whether the current occupant is an actual tenant or the previous owner, so make sure and find that out specifically.

This site is great!  State specific advice....priceless and thank you guys for taking the time to post and share your knowledge and referrals. I'm reading up in case I find myself needing to evict.  Offering them relocation assistance in the form of money is usually the best if they'll take it.