Evicting tenant after buying 2 family in MA

4 Replies

Looking for some advice.  

I will be closing on a 2 family tomorrow afternoon in MA.  I will be occupying the downstairs unit, and the upstairs until has been occupied by the same tenant for 6 years on a month to month basis.  I went into this deal very excited knowing that the upstairs unit would already be rented out by what I thought was a reliable tenant.  I also met this tenant on two occasions and she seemed very nice and kept a very clean apartment.  She also told me she has been living there for 6 years, so did not think to question this.  

I just received an email from the seller's agent that read as follows:

"The owner has asked me to reach out to share the following message with you.  I spoke with the upstairs tenant (name) yesterday.  She will pay the buyer half the rent ($525) for August on Monday.  I will work out an agreement with (name) to pay me the money she owes when she gets a new job.  She's between jobs right now.  I'd like the buyer to know that (name) has been a fantastic tenant for years and I recommend her as a tenant.  She's been in similar situations twice before and managed to get a new job and catch up on the rents."

I am wondering if it would make more sense to generate a 30 day notice to quit immediately due to new landlord and prevent having to deal with any headache.  What steps should I take to avoid her from squatting in this property?  I also found it odd that she is offering to pay on Monday of next week Aug 20th, 5 days after closing. 

Thank you for your help!

This is never fun and something we went through with one of our out of state buyers. They were buying 5 units in East Hartford and the listing agent told us a few days before closing that 3 tenants were already a few days past the grace period. We got lucky and the tenants paid up along with their late fees. We've also had tenants give notice RIGHT after going under contract - you can't help but think "how coincidental".

Unfortunately from the attorney's that I've spoken to, there isn't much buyers can do to hedge against this happening. If you are really concerned, you could ask that the seller remove the tenant prior to close. However, if this was not a part of your original contract, it isn't likely that it will be enforceable. 

I wish you luck...please let us know how this turns out for you! 

Since you're closing tomorrow, you can't hardly ask seller to evict her. Month to month lease. Simply give written notice that her lease will be terminating in 30 or 60 days. Whatever the lease states is the timeframe that landlord must give notice. You may lose a couple months rent asap, but it is better than losing more, and/or worrying every single month if the tenant is going to pay you. 

In Mass you use a 14 day pay or quit notice for nonpayment of rent.  There is a different notice for a tenant on a lease vs. M2M, so make sure you use the right one.  You need to be able to prove the tenant actually received the notice.  It’s best to have them sign that they received it.  Of course this doesn’t always work, so if they refuse to sign you can have a sheriff serve the notice.  The 14 day clock starts ticking upon receipt of the notice.