How to Evict a Tenant that is the Seller?

6 Replies

I am sure many of you have had to deal with a tenant that had to get evicted and there is great information on that available. But how do you move forward if the seller of the house does not move out and does not communicate?

@Ester Hopkins

The seller is the owner until a transfer of title occurs, typically at the close of escrow. I think most people accept the exact moment as the moment that the deed is recorded. Once title has been transferred the seller is no longer the owner but becomes a tenant/occupant.

If the seller is still the owner, you cannot evict him. If he's an occupant/tenant, you can evict him just like any other "regular" tenant.

Do you have more details?

We closed the escrow last week and we also agreed on the house being unoccupied on the day of the transferred title. 

We have left letters and called, but the seller is still living there and does not communicate. 

Thanks Andreas!

Does your contract say anything about charging them rent if they aren't out on time?  It seems like my contracts had such a clause.

If so, then they are your tenants, and you can just serve them with eviction papers.

If not, you better talk to an attorney about how to get them out as squatters/trespassers.

wow - that is bizarre - please keep us posted on what happens

@Ester Hopkins ,

That does sound odd, but it sounds like a learning experience.  If the owner was supposed to have vacated the house at the time of transference of title, you should not have closed escrow because the house was not vacated at the time.  There should have been some final walk through or occupancy verification prior to closing the escrow.  That would have been your backup leverage to remove the seller from the property.  

Now you have people who are unresponsive, and there are all sorts of worst case scenarios that come to mind now (they got their money, they can damage the property however they want and you would have to use legal recourse to recover any damages.  Not a good situation to be in.) aside from carrying costs while you try to remove them, and lost revenues due to those costs.  You could try to recover in small claims court once they are out, but what a hassle.

I would definitely talk to a lawyer regarding this issue to see what your options are, preferably an attorney familiar with evictions and squatters rights.

Good luck, and as @Jason Mak said, keep us posted!

Should just be a standard eviction. Speak to your lawyer to get the right form, and nail it up on your front door.

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