Please help. I just closed on a duplex. I have tenants that will be moving in soon. The current inherited tenant has a history if late payments and is on a month to month lease. I immediately gave him a 30 day notice to vacate. He called and informed me that the person on the lease no longer lives their and that he took over the apt. He has not paid rent for April and does not seem to have any intention of paying. How do I handle this situation. The duplex is in Tx.
I'm sorry you are finding yourself in this predicament. Sounds like you are really new to residential real estate investing. Fortunately your can find valuable information on Bigger Pockets that will help you learn the business. Unfortunately the learning curve is significant and you jumped into the real world unprepared.
As a new landlord you must first and foremost learn and abide by the landlord-tenant laws for your jurisdiction. If there are landlord classes available in your area, sign up for the next one. Often local rental associations offer this type of opportunity as well as assist their members in keeping up to date on ever changing laws, so it is a good idea to join such. They may even offer you a local mentor.
Sounds like you prematurely committed the unit to other people before you had completed the purchase and secured a viable move-out plan for the current tenant. By immediately serving a 30-day Notice to Vacate before obtaining more knowledge about the current tenant and the terms of their tenancy, you have unintentionally escalated the situation. At this juncture, you had best seek the services of a qualified attorney who specializes in evictions for your jurisdiction. It could take 30 days or longer to successfully evict a tenant. If you don't serve legal notices correctly, it could take even longer.
Some places are "tenant friendly" and some are "landlord friendly" and some are neither. Where is the rental property located? Are you emptying both units of this duplex, or was just one side occupied? Your goal will be to obtain possession of the rental unit as soon as you can with the least amount of monetary loss and damage to the property. Don't expect the unit to be ready to rent once the tenant has moved out. Make sure you have a crew ready to do repairs and attend to deferred maintenance and cleaning. Hopefully you have set aside sufficient funds for this.
By the way, before you made this purchase, what did you learn from the previous owner about the current tenants? Did you see the rental agreements/leases? Did you see the rent register? Did you see inside both units? Were the security deposits for the current tenants transferred to you at closing?
How did you first introduce yourself to the current tenant? How did that go?
@Leah Bell . If Tenant is on a MTM Lease (in Texas) you can serve them with Notice you do not plan to renew the MTM lease. Be careful about the date of when the lease is to terminate.
If person "took over" the Apt lease, that should mean there is a Lease. And, I would think you would need to abide by the Lease. If the Lease terminates at end of May 2019, you will need to send the Notification NLT end of April.
Be careful on this one, you could very well end up with 2 tenants for the same place.
If rent has not been received for April, I would give a 3 day notice to the person who was on the lease and all other occupants. If payment is not made within that time, you would file against the same and "all other occupants"
If the occupant pays, you can immediately give a 30 day notice to terminate the lease. In Texas when there is no lease agreement, it is assumed to be a month to month tenancy