Tenant is Refusing to Move

7 Replies

Hi all, we are purchasing our first investment property in Montgomery AL and we have somewhat of a strange situation. We were supposed to close a bout 3 weeks ago but the tenants asked the Landlord (the seller) for 3 extra weeks to find a place. We (the new buyers) hesitantly agreed to push back the closing as the tenants had four young children and had no where to go. 

The backstory the tenants hadn't paid rent in a bout 10 months and didn't keep the property clean. The seller is now selling to get rid of the property and even though they verbally agreed to leave 3 weeks ago and have moved all their stuff to storage, they now claim they want it in writing (Notice to Vacate). We were told that they weren't able to find a new place so that's why they are still holding on to the keys and using the property daily. Initially the seller told our realtor that she did give written notice to the tenants, but now it appears that she didn't. We believe that this is a great investment so we are willing to wait on it. 

Does anyone have any advice on the quickest legal way she can get them to leave the property? Our closing was supposed to be today but we put if off until we have a clearer understanding on what's really going on.   

@Crispin Walsh whatever you do do not close until the tenant is out and has turned over the keys. This is a serious problem tenant. Make sure they are gone before you close. You do not own the property yet. Getting the tenant out is the current owner's job. All the best!

I also agree. Dont close.

But if willing to pay more. With sellers permission try this.

Go by there and talk to tenants. Tell them they you where planning to buy the place. But need it vacant to close.

Offer them X amount to vacate.   Only question is if X amount is worth the gamble. Can anything else stop the sale.

Thanks guys for your input. @ Bjorn Ahlblad we were leaning toward your suggestion. @ Mike Dymski we suggested the "cash for keys" to her but she wasn't fond of giving them anything when they owed her over $10,000 in rent.

Don't close until the property is vacant. Seller needs to proceed with eviction. Although (due to unconstitutional Covid eviction moratorium) they can't evict for non-payment, Seller can evict for non-compliance of other lease terms (damage, lease expiration, end of month-to-month tenancy, Buyer wants to live in the premises, etc.). Tenant needs to vacate - they can go live in a motel.

If it was me - I'd tell the seller the deal is off. Sorry, no longer interested, find another buyer. If this gets them motivated and they come back to you with it fully solved to your satisfaction you can move ahead with the deal, if it doesn't you will have found out via the most direct method possible.

Thanks all for your advice. We let the sellers know that we will not close until they get the tenants out. We were also able to negotiate down the asking price to keep us interested and stick around for a month. This way it's in the seller's best interest to expedite the eviction.