1. First, you HAVE TO see the house - unless you are an outside investor and have a a method to manage the property.
2. Hire a local REAL ESTATE attorney.
3. Tenants aren't always cooperative.
4. Need to know what rents are, how long tenant has been there their payment history etc.
5. Need to know what security deposits have been paid to current owner, where they are deposited and current amounts etc.
6. The CORRECT thing to do and a bank will usually require this is the ESTOPPEL LETTER OR CERTIFICATE. An estoppel letter (sometimes called an estoppel certificate) is a certification as to factual information about a tenantâ€™s lease as of the time the tenant signs the estoppel letter. A landlord may request an estoppel letter in connection with a sale of a property or in connection with financing for the property. Both a potential purchaser and a lender will want to know the status of the leases on the property, as neither will want to commit time and resources for a property where there are problems. An estoppel letter is a good way to identify a negative issues
More on RentLaw.com The National Landlord Tenant Guides.
PS - Landlording is NOT for everyone - not always easy. BE PREPARED
there is a bit of a leaning curve to be a landlord in MA. I would ask the current owner for an entire tenancy history. This will give you some sort of perspective as to wither or not too keep the tenants but ultimately that decision is yours. Also, I would never make an offer without seeing the entire property first. That request to me is just ridiculous. Best of Luck
You should do some back ground work, you need the tenants information, are there paying on time, how much are there paying, itâ€™s at market value, work history, etc.. Once you have this information you could do an educated decision to keep or let them go. Remember that being a landlord itâ€™s a business and like any other business there are some risk and rewards. Learn first what it takes to be a landlord before you become one.
The first thing to do is get yourself your own agent to guide you through the process.
Massachusetts Premier Buyer Brokerage
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If you keep the tenant, make sure that the last month rent and security deposit accounts come with the tenant and that you, the seller and the tenant are in agreement as to which accounts exist.
It is nice though to have a tennant that is in there assuming they pay rent on time. Only issue would be if they are paying lower than market rent. You have to weigh good tenent/lower market rent vs trying to find a tennant yourself.
I would advise you to consult a real estate attorney so you can get a handle on what to expect as a land lord.