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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.