Home Buying in Brooklyn>Question Details

Dina, Home Buyer in Brooklyn, NY

How to get tenants with no lease out of a house I am closing on soon?

Asked by Dina, Brooklyn, NY Tue Jun 22, 2010

I am supposed to close on a house at the end of the month. The current owners rent out one floor to someone whose lease expired in May, but they are still not out. The seller is not especially motivated to sell, because he thinks he could have gotten a better price, so I don't know how motivated he is to get the tenant out. What should we do to get him out? We don't have much time, because we want to renovate in the summer. Can we renovate with him there?

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Dear Dina:

First of all I am curious as to what is stated in your contract of sale with regard to the tenant. All contracts of sale involving a tenant are either subject to tenancy or vacancy. If the contract is subject to tenancy, this means that you are supposed to close the deal regardless of it the tenant actually moves out or not. If the contract is subject to vacancy, then the onus is on the seller to deliver the house vacant. If he cannot or does not deliver the house basis as per the contract the seller would open himself up to a lawsuit and you can try to sue him for damages. The critical word there is "try." With a lawsuit you can never be 100% certain as to if you will win and it can become costly, especially if you lose the case.

Also, if as you stated the seller is not that motivated, he may be lazy about getting the job done. Hopefully you have a great attorney to help you out with this! If the tenant is not out in time I would have my attorney try to get a reduction in the price of let's say about $5,000.00. If the seller goes for this, after you close you can do two things. First you offer the tenant $5,000 in cash if they can vacate in 30 days or less. You have them sign an agreement to this effect (authored by your attorney) and explain to them that they will not get the money until after they move out and hand you the keys. Secondly, if the tenant refuses this offer, tell them you are going to give that money to a high powered attorney to make sure they are out and then they will walk away with nothing when they leave.

Most tenants will take the money and run. You can also do the renovations while the tenant is there, but not in the tenants apartment. If you are doing renovations in the rest of the house, make sure your contracts make a lot of noise! :)

If you want call me and I would be happy to help you further. If I had more details I may be able to give you even more advice. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665
Cellular: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Let me ask, did the contract state that the seller is going to deliver the home vacant upon closing? This is important to know because if the contract states a total vacancy because you do not have to close on the home if the contract is not being fulfilled by the seller.

Now if you decide to close with the tenant in the home anyway then you can have your lawyer request that the seller leave funds in escrow for you to do the eviction process after closing.

Also you or the seller can pay the tenant funds in order to pay first and last month's rent for another apartment. Be careful with this option because tenants can get greedy.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.RhondaHolt
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
You need to speak to a lawyer ASAP. No one else can help you evict a person from their home but a lawyer.

Attorney / Broker
Helping Distressed Homeowners
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Can u kick someone out of your house the same day. They have no lease. They do work around house
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2015
Check the Occupancy portion of your contract. In my area we use a FARBAR As Is contract (Florida Association of Realtors / Florida Bar Association approved). Line 69 and 70 state that occupancy must be given to the buyer at closing. That means the property should be vacant. The seller would be in breach if the property is not vacant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
Hi Dina:

In real estate one falls back to the contract.

If it addressed in your contract you are in good shape, if your contracted does not address it
Then clearly there is accost associated with a poorly written contract or it's execution.

Good luck
Web Reference: http://Www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
I think it best to receive the building vacant, before doing the renovations. The tenants can cause a lot of potential headaches and perhaps delay the completion of your Reno.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
Is it in your contract for the building to be delivered vacant?
Speak to your attorney for advice...but a great way to motivate your seller to get his tenants out is to ask for a deduction in price.
Web Reference: http://MichaelDvorkin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
Your contract includes a proposed closing date, and legally there are deadlines associated with it. So eventually something is going to happen....Not sure what.

The timing of your renovation is the least of your worries; don't let the tail wag the dog. You need to have a conversation with your attorney, pronto.

Karla Harby, VP, Lic. Real Estate Salesperson
Charles Rutenberg Realty NYC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Hi Dina,

The best thing to do is to call a lawyer that deals with tenants all the time. If you need a name of a lawyer send me an email.

Sorry cant help you more
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
You could also try to talk to the tenent that if he could vacate.
I think the tenent could give this a thought. If they leave you got a win-win situation. Try offering one months rent, as cash for keys.
Eviction could take 6-7 months in Brooklyn.
Think about It.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Ypu really should be asking this question to your attorney, as he/she can best advise as it relates to the situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Call a real estate attorney that specializes in tenant evictions. The faster that you take the 1st step the faster the tenants will be out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
This is something that needs to be addressed with your attorney. You have a contract, so if you are 30 days past your closing date in your contract, he will have a problem if he doesn't close. Now the tenants are another problem. Dealing with landlord/tenant court in Brooklyn is not going to be easy. If you are willing to take on the tenant, you will have to have your lawyer discuss the renovations with the tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
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