Seller with tenants but NO lease in place...

5 Replies

Hello BP World,

I have an interesting situation.  I am looking at a property that is not under rent control.  There is a tenant, but the home owner and the tenant never put a lease or rental agreement in place. The tenant has been paying rent for many years. This property is located in Oakland CA. 

I am assuming that at the point which I close, I have the open option to either evict the existing tenant or offer them an actual lease.  

I am just wondering if anybody sees any potential problems with getting this person out, besides a standard eviction process.

Thanks in advance,


nothing unusual here. i closed on a house with a tenant and no lease. in the PA we put that we will keep the tenant for at least 30 days. since she was paying, we just had her sign a month to month lease. we will sign a longer lease once we get to know her. 

i'd talk to the tenant and explain the next steps. they will tell you all you need to know. i'd have no problem doing it again in the future.

Once you take over the property build a professional relationship with the tenants.  I usually don't let them know I'm the owner.  I'm just a salt mine worker.  Getting that tenant out won't be any easier or harder than if you had a signed lease.   Inheriting tenants is always an adventure...


In Mississippi it would be considered a month to month lease.  Not sure what the laws are in CA but 30 days notice for non-lease situations is a pretty fair standard. 

In CA it's implied to be a month-to-month lease if there's no formal contract in place and the tenant is writing checks and the landlord is depositing them.

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