We are about to close on several properties in Oklahoma. They are REO and some are vacant and some have tenants. We have knocked doors to be proactive and attempt to get them to sign a short lease ( No security deposit is being transferred we are attempting to get a short lease with security deposit lined out so we will not be responsible for it.) While doing this we have run across a tenant we want to get out ASAP, Basement was flooded, sink faucet was leaking big time. Cabinet and floor in from of sink need to be repaired/replaced. Mold starting to form in the basement, daughter was sure to point out the mold. How do we get these people out quickly and mitigate any potential mold issues from them?
First, tenants have rights. Their rights are protected for REO properties. Second, despite the tenants not having leases, they do have a month to month lease. Consult your local laws, but you can't evict a paying tenant. You would have to give them a 30 day notice. In my city, there are additional laws for tenants of foreclosed properties, giving them additional time.
I would not attempt to get any lease signed when you don't own the property.
With regard to the tenant with the maintenance issues, I am not sure from your posting that it is their fault. You can elect to fix their problems. If you believe that the repairs are from tenant neglect, then work to get rid of the tenant.
With regard to the mold, you are not responsible for damage prior to your ownership. Consult an attorney about your local laws. Do not emphasize the mold issue with that tenant. Immediately work to remove the mold when you own the house. Keep a paper trail and dated photographs.
Thank you Brian, it was at an attorneys advice that I tried to get a new lease. He told me to date it May 1, forgiving April rent. The point was to not be responsible for any security deposits. This attorney is a landlord as well, I like attorneys with skin in the game.
Should have been common sense to take pictures, I was so shocked by the conditions that I forgot about pictures.
As for maintenance, letting the water run until the cabinet and floor are rotted, I call that neglected by the tenant.
All in all good advice and appreciated, thank you
Any tenant that willingly resides in a home with that many maintenance issues is not a good tenant. Give them the required written notice and get them out.
You may consider alternate methods to pressure them. I recently had an owner ask me to manage a home for her with some bad tenants. During my first visit I discovered the basement was regularly flooding from backed up sewage. The tenants were walking on a plank sidewalk to avoid stepping in feces AND they had two young children living down there. I called Dept. of Family Services and they forced the parents to remove the children which then forced the parents to move out. You could also consider calling the health department if you have one in your area.
Thank you Nathan, you also have a great website.
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