Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

Nhu Nguyen, Home Buyer in Newark, CA

How hard is to evict the tenants in a foreclosure property deal?

Asked by Nhu Nguyen, Newark, CA Tue Aug 7, 2012

I am going to sign a contract tomorrow for a foreclosure home which is occupied by the tenants. I am wondering how hard to evict them and what are the buyers' right? Please advice! Thanks a lot

Help the community by answering this question:


In California, when you have squatters or tenants in your home your rights are few.

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. ( whoops this is only for criminals )
Do you understand these rights I have just read to you?

Step 1 Ask them nicely to leave.
Step 2 Pay them to leave only when they have left the premises broom clean without any damage.
Step 3 You will have to get an eviction attorney / company.
Step 4 Do something illegal and crazy as they are doing it to you. ( you do know this is a joke )

The tenants may actually be there fully legally and you may have to wait awhile.
They may even have a lease and can stay for the length of the lease.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
I wonder why you would take complete strangers as tenants in your new home? You don’t know these tenants. You do not know whether they pay the rent on time. You do not have a credit report on the tenants.

If you are not experienced as a landlord who has dealt with problem tenants and evictions this seems like a bad way to learn IMO.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
They become your tenants once the deal closes. Get some legal advice from an attorney while you still have options.
Flag Wed Aug 8, 2012
"What should I do?" Hire a RE Lawyer to perform the eviction!
Flag Wed Aug 8, 2012
Thanks for your answer!
They are not my tenants. They have been living there and I am about to sign the contract. I am obligated to evict them once the paper is finalized. The bank insisted that buyer will have to deal with it.
What should I do?
Flag Tue Aug 7, 2012
Are you sure you need to evict them? Have you asked whether they will just move out peacefully? If you can get them to move out peacefully, you'll be less likely to have damage and junk left over at the property.

If you need to evict them, you should hire an eviction attorney to do it for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012

As a future temporary Landlord who will be adopting a month-to-month lease you should also be aware of the following informational sources/links:

CA's "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" - need to know info!

Specifically, you will note that "Tenants can insist on staying until the end of their leases. The only EXCEPTION occurs when the new owner of a single-family home wants to move in."

These links might also prove useful:

Personally, I would hire a Real Estate Lawyer to perform the eviction!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Thank you for all your answer. It really helps.

I forgot to mention that the lease is from month to month. The property is owned by the bank and before the bank accepted my offer, they had me sign a contract stated that as the buyer, it is my responsibilty to evict the tenants. I will have an inspection and have a chance to meet the tenants this weekend. With all your answers, I guess I should communicate with the tenants to see when they are intending to move out since this is my first property and I planned to move in in a month or so.

Thanks again for all your help!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
The courts are very used to eviction proceedings. Small claims courts have special procedures and forms for this purpose. Check the courts in your jurisdiction to see what is in place to help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Hello Nhu.
Please clarify whether the property has already been foreclosed and is now owned by a previous Lender, probably a Bank. In this case make sure your agent includes in your offer a very clear statement that the property must be vacant and new locks on all doors before close of escrow. Then go to the property the day before the closing to ensure this has been done.
If you are talking about a Short Sale (a property where the foreclosure is still in process) you will be buying from the Landlord who is the current owner. In this case you also need to know whether the Tenants have a current lease as that would give them the right to stay in the property until the end of the lease period. If they do not have a lease then you should include the same clause in your offer regarding the property being vacant at close of escrow, and personally check to see that it is.
If you close escrow while the tenants are still there then you are going to incur full responsibility for getting them out. This will almost certainly be expensive and you have the risk that they might trash the place before moving.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Why do you want to evict the tenants are they behind on their rent or are you intending to occupy the property? If they are not behind on their rent it is my understanding that you need to honor the term of the lease that is in place or if it is month to month you are required to give them 30 day notice so they may locate another place You should probably find out this information prior to signing the contract so you do not end up in a situation you don't want to be in. Did you discuss this with your agent? It would be best if you consult an attorney who does real estate law though.

Debbie Good
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Mr. Nguyen:

If you plan to be a landlord: If the tenants pay the rent, then you need not and may not be able to evict. If they don't pay the rent, then you'll have right to evict. You also have right to evict if, as the new purchaser, you intend to occupy. You can make a condition of the sale that the tenants leave the property before close of escrow. You have the right to evict if they damage the property.

Now, all that said, evicting someone because, say you raise the rent beyond what they can afford, is not child's play. Tenants in such situations have no loyalty to you and can get very pissed off. In such cases, they could trash the property, making your eviction of them cost much more than your raised rent can bring. On the other hand, buying the property and keeping the tenants can build a good landlord tenant relationship.

You need to ask yourself what your goals are and whether one of those goals is to create unhappiness along the way to getting where you think you want to go.

I would not touch a purchase of a home with tenants in it without first meeting the tenants and seeing if my goals and their desires can co-exist in a manner that makes everyone happy. If I'm looking for future tenants, the ones already there are the best to start with IF THE ARE ALREADY BEING GOOD TENANTS. If such is not the case, why buy a headache? If I want them out of the house when I buy it, then the question for me is how much do I need to offer the tenants to leave before close of escrow? If there is nothing I can offer that, when combined with the rest of cost of purchase, makes the purchase attractive, I move on to a different home to consider.

I've evicted people on behalf of wronged landlords when the landlords had really good reasons to evict someone like the tenants were actually victimizing the landlord, the fact of the matter is that the tenants are being thrown out of their home. The sheriff's department is involved, and the whole process is unpleasant for everyone involved. Moreover, it can be dangerous. Not everyone who gets evicted is stable, sensible, sane, rational, non-criminally minded, not a career criminal or scan artist, and just going to go without a fuss, threats, damage to your car (What are new tires, and new paint for your car after they have keyed it and punctured the tires worth to you?), slandering you in court, assaulting you, claiming you sexually assaulted them or their children (If you are male, NEVER be in the presence of a female tenant or her children you are evicting alone!), pouring cement down the drains, peeing all over the carpets, pouring oil or gasoline on the grass and plants, stalking you, showing up at your door some night while your kids are asleep. I can go on and on. Do you get my drift?

I hope this helps give you a perspective.

Mitchell Pearce
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Foreclosure is a specific legal proceedure which must be done properly or it can drag out for months. Tenants have certain rights while they occupy the home. You should start tonight by reading the landlord tenant law for California I've attached below and speak to an attorney before you are committed to this purchase. You may want to reconsider your offer based on how difficult and costly it may be.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
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