When it comes to purchasing real estate rental properties, you may find your self with inherited tenants. The current property owner already uses the home or building as a rental but wants to move on to something else. You are interested in investing in the property but might be unsure how to handle inherited tenants. In some cases, a transition can be easy as the new landlord (YOU), are given organized information on the current tenants. In other cases, you may be provided with little to no information on the current tenants, so what do you do?
The first step you want to take is to gather information if you were not provided with info on the current tenants. Look for the purchasing contract for the rental property along with other documentation that should list the name of the tenant as well as the current rent being paid and other basic tenant information.
For more details, you will have to visit with the tenants. You can do so by providing a change of management notice to the tenant, introducing yourself as the new property owner. You will provide the tenant with a document that offers new contract information, where rent will need to be paid, how to inform you of maintenance needs, etc. Never hesitate to complete a background check if you feel this will be of benefit to your new role as a property owner. It is within your rights to ask the existing tenant to complete a new tenant screening process for your records.
Handle The Tenant Situation with Care
As the new property owner, handle the current tenants with care. They may be afraid you will be terminating their lease or increasing their rent, so they may come off rude or nervous during your first meeting. Be nice and courteous, explaining your plans for the property. In some cases, you may feel comfortable not screening the tenants and if they prove to be a bother, deal with them when the lease is up. You may find the current tenants are a dream and you lucked up when purchasing the property, avoiding the need to find renters.
In some cases, the tenants will push back against rules that you introduce, and they behave in an untoward manner. You may have to start the eviction process if this happens. Be prepared for this to happen, especially if you do not know the tenants and they seem to be annoyed by your recent purchase of the property.
Overall, it is important to handle an existing tenant situation with care. Trust your gut and do what you think is best to ensure that your new property is taken care of and that you have a good tenant in place that will stick around for years to come.