Home Buying in 95121>Question Details

Lakisha, Home Buyer in San Jose, CA

Is it easy to evict occupied tenants once I buy bank-owned property?

Asked by Lakisha, San Jose, CA Tue Sep 18, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello, not easy at all. I am a licensed Unlawful Detainer Assistant, (eviction specialist) in the Bay Area. Eviction is complex and has to be handled by experienced person. I have seen owners go to court and lose due to as small as clerical error. You have to give notice, file a civil case, win in court and only then will the county sheriff evict the tenant. My suggestion is to find yourself an experienced eviction specialist BEFORE you buy your next bank-owned home. It will only save you time and money in the long run.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
If you by a property that has a tenant that holds a lease, no matter what kind of sale, you must honor the lease and all the laws surrounding it. You have assumed the role of landlord.

Ian Batra
Intero Real Estate Services
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
It depends on the risk/benefit scenario, there could be a few unknown risks or expenses. The best way to deal with the eviction is by approaching occupants and determine how difficult they're going be to evict them, offer them cash 4 keys and a list available rental properties in the area.

Good to average case scenario 30-60 days
Bad case scenario 8-10 months + damages
Seek legal advice
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Thank you, Lakisha:

You have received excellent advice from the other responders.

It is very difficult to evict tenants under any circumstances. Often the tenants have nowhere else to go.

If you have not bought the property yet, I recommend that you make certain that your contract has provisions that the property is to be vacant at least 5 days prior to close of escrow. I recommend that upon your walk through prior to close of escrow, that you make certain that the property is vacant and has no personal belongings in the house that the tenants might want to come back and retrieve. .

If the property is not vacant, I recommend that you refuse to close escrow until the property is vacant.

If you have already purchased and closed escrow and you have tenants in the property, I recommend that you first do your best to persuade the tenants leave voluntarily. You may need to offer to pay the security deposit and several months prepaid rent to help the tenants to find a new place to live. As part of that agreement, I recommend that you place the obligation on the tenants to leave the property in the same condition or better as when you bought the property.

If the tenants will not leave voluntarily, and If you need to evict the tenants, I recommend that you hire an Attorney who has a great deal of successful experience with the eviction of problem tenants. However the tenants will probably be very unhappy and may retaliate by doing a great deal of damage to your property.

If you do have a property with tenants that need to be relocated, I recommend that you do everything that you can to help the tenants find a place to move to and keep them as happy as possible so that the tenants do not damage the property.

Either way it will probably cost you some money either in Attorney's fees for the eviction process and cost of repairs for damage caused by your problem tenants, or payment of the security deposit and prepaid rent for the tenants to persuade the tenants to leave voluntarily and leave the property in good condition.

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address: charlesbutterfieldbkr@yahoo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
Can i go there to talk to them first?
Flag Thu Apr 30, 2015
You might want to consult an attorney who specializes in landlord tenant law. Nolo has a directory here: http://www.nolo.com/lawyers
It is never easy to evict tenants under any circumstances.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
California has laws which protect a tenant, even if they don't have a lease.

Here is the link to the handbook.

Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
If it is bank owned I am surprised there are any occupants in it. Once it is foreclosed and the bank buys it they make the house empty, banks don't like to be landlords and would rather have a vacant house. It can always be difficult to evict anyone and sometimes they get mad and take it out on the house as they do the midnight move.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
Synthia Noble

Once you have certificate of title. You can approach. You are able to contact the resident during closing but can not provide a notice in writing until you "own", it. Then no mater the situation they are a non paying tenant and can be evicted at the speed of local process. Then a writ of possession may be used if they do not move. Source- I do over 100 eviction a year and Obama hasn't slowed me down one bit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 5, 2015
My mother did a quit claim deed to me back in 2006. In 2009 I let my brother move in and in May/2014 he stopped the mortgage on the house. I gave him his notice to either pay or vacate the property. Our court date was 7/11 and it was adjourned because my brother stated he wanted a lawyer. The judge gave him a week our next court date 7/18. What right do I have since my mother quit claim her house to me in 2006? Also I am the guardian/conservator over my mother.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2014
Here's a funny side note...the "prior" owner, came on the first day of the month asking for his rent...after the home had been sold....lol. Something to watch out for....go talk to the tenants quick. Let them know you are the new owner, and you've like to work with them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2014
I've been on the other side of the door....I was a tenant....I had a lease...and I had a three year history of paying my rent.... Now...how would you like people coming buy, every few days, and especially on the weekends, when you are just chilling around the home. It's actually hard to enjoy the property. But...here is what I can tell you.....Go talk to the tenants...IF you are serious....or after you buy the place. Talk to them and be nice..find out the situation from their point of view. It cost me money to move....why would I move...if I have a lease, which gives me the right to stay there for the rest of the year...(lol). My advise..if that's the case..be nice....do not threaten..but ask them if you can help them with their moving expenses, and offer them free rent for 30 days.(I was offered free rent for 90 days, and $1000 to move, lol...the check never came...welcome to verbal agreements..)... OR....tell them you will not increase their rent if they pay......as as an fyi......MY PRIOR LANDLOARD showed up after he lost the house, and was asking for rent.....(lol...scumbag).
If you find the owner is living in the home.....then I would walk away....It just smells like trouble.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2014
my mother gave me her property in a will. but she is going to give it to me before she passes away. how can i get my uncle off that property? he does not pay rent or space fees? i live in nc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2014
Pink: Find him a new place, and pay the first months rent, and pay him to move. From that point on...you can go to social services with him, next month, when he cannot pay the rent. If he needs "help", then first get him out of the house, and then call adult services, so, you can get him some help (outside of your house).
Flag Wed Jun 4, 2014
So sorry, Lakisha. They may have been squatters. this is not an easy task as Pedro has noted, and it will cost you time and money. As a REO agent, I always instill in my clients how important it is to do their due diligence, however squatters can be beyond your control and you will need to follow the eviction process, which I'm sure you have by now. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 17, 2013
FYI, I am seeing more bank owned properties for sale in our market that are OCCUPIED. the properties are going for a discount because the bank is shifting the burden of eviction onto the buyer. I am also curious about the risk in this scenario. Eviction is state specific. I know in Chicagoland the sheriffs office is hesitant to evict in the winter! which can cost a landlord a LOT of money. I would be most worried about potential damage to the house. I like the suggestion about approaching the resident to see if they are open to cash for keys. However, the listings with occupied bank owned properties specifically state not to approach the resident. anyone who has been down this path - input would be great.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
The other snapu, is when tenants might have a long term lease (Ah..snap!), and they are current in their rent. These are good tenants....(lol). A lease is not always terminated just because ownership changes. I've been on all sides of this issue...I also bought a property with an outstanding multiyear lease (that was filed in the county clerks office)...to a corporation...the lease had to end, because the corporation would not fulfill their end of lease obligations..and I still had to get a lawyer...Because it was a "corporation", it cost me about $5000, to resolve this "contract dispute"....ug..(a person can be evictec, corp=contract dispute). (The corporation had a 10 year lease, thus, the $600/quarter they were paying was not cutting it, ten years later). Funny thing is...there is "no one" in a corporation, whom you can really yell at....they all just work there.)....
Flag Wed Jun 4, 2014
Guy is out . Its all good . Thank you folks .Now I am renting the top floor 3 bedroom in Solana Beach 5500 from june thru sept 15th then 4000 a month thereafter .

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 21, 2013
OK just joking I get it . I will hire a $65 process server but where this guy is is the tricky part .

I will do it right . I am a detailed Headhunter. And I am not spending other than the server . Its a person like you who makes this possible to follow the letter of the law and so I shall .

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
Your overly kind . I am going to have to do these thing . He is gone . However each day I go to the cabana he stayed in however it is not really a rental . He was more like a guest so this is in the grey area and he has overstayed his welcome therefore would be trespassing if I got that straight and he knows it that is why he is waiting for me to make a false move . Now tomorrow I will call the sheriff and see under those circumstances . No Lease, No signed anything other than from a few yrs ago at another apt on my prop but not the cabana you see . So........Anyway . I did the first part .
I have a photo handing the mail woman the envelope on SAT past . The renter is no where to be found as each day I go look with letter in hand and he is not there in the cabana and yes I posted it on the door . And yes 2 x and 2 days all done .

OK so being I did not do a return receipt the only one who knows is the mailwoman but thats not good enough .But get this , his address , mine , does not come here anymore but forwards most likely to a PO BOX .......

I know a server but who should she bring it to ?????????

I know a bar and restaurant he goes to . I could give a bartender $10 and when he comes in with his beer he gets served .........lol .......eh ? no ? Hahahaha
Your so kind . I owe yu and will someday repay .......Lets do facebook if you like .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
Hello Ed, your are correct. After a 3 day notice is served to pay rent or quit, you can go forward and file a Unlawful Detainer civil case in your local superior court on the following court day.

But a Big question first.
A) How was the 3 day notice served?
If you did not personally handed it to the renter. You can post on the door....ONLY after you have attempted to serve him two previous times on two different day and times. for example

Tues 3:00pm - Renter did not answer door
Wend 5:00pm - No answer at door
Thur 10:00am - No answer at door - Post AND Mail notice.

Then you would need proof of this, as in fill out a Due Diligence attempt notice and keep the Post Office receipt of letter of notice sent.

After all of this, then you can go forward a file a civil case. The time line is as follows
A) 3 day notice served and expired
B) File Unlawful Detainer
C) Hire a court approved Process Server to serve case documents. (Regardless what your have heard DO NOT allow family or friend to serve docs. They may be called upon in court and case can be dismissed due to wrongful process service, hire a real Process Server).
D) After case served - must wait 5 days
E) If the renter answered your case in court, you MUST set for trial
F) If renter did not answer after 5 days, you will return to court and win case by Default
G) Only then will the sheriff be allowed to evict tenant.

Ed all of this can cost normally from $800 to $3500 depending on what service you use and attorney fee's. You can save money by doing a lot of this yourself, unfortunately it was very complex if not done right and you can lose all cost paid, back rent and renter gets to stay in the home.

I'm in San Jose Bay Area and can help assist you from here if interested.
Hope this helps and good luck with this situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
My problem has nothing to do with my buying a property I already own . Mine is with the fella who has not returned for 8 days now and is keeping me in limbo . However I was told this , " technically after the three day notice to pay rent or quit you then have to do an unlawful detainer to have him removed by the sheriff".

So your thoughts now which are appreciated are ....................?

Thank you

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
I had a tenant who came to me 5 yrs ago to rent for 3 to 5 months which ended 4 yrs in a one bedroom . We had a year to year lease up until the end of 2012. I then re rented the one bedroom and let him "stay" in the poolhouse which has NO RUNNING Water however there is an outdoor latrine and he showered outside . Now for this he gave me about 700 a month up to jan 2013. Feb he worked off around the garden and home . He owes me for MARCH and now APRIL .. HE pulled an MIA last sunday am but has been seen in and around the area in solana beach , cops came made report . Family called them . Meantime his stuff remains in the pool house . I mailed as of sat a 3 day eviction noticed based on his MIA , no payment , all promises broke and he climbs over my wall where I have cemented sharp seashells now .

How long do I have to legally wait to move his stuff to the street .....?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
I am getting divorced and need to get back to my apartment. Can I evict the tenant? am willing not to charge her for a month of lease
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 10, 2013
Not only does it take time to evict occupants, they may damage the house when they leave. I've sold several homes which were damaged by owners who felt the banks weren't fair. One was a large, fairly new home, on a waterfront, in a nice neighborhood. While talking with a neighbor, he said that he could understand the owner being upset and doing over $100,000 of damage. The owner gained absolutely nothing from doing the damage other than convincing the bank to never loan money to him again. Will the owner be forced to be a renter for the rest of his life?

The time spent evicting an occupant may be faced more often but the damage done by a crazed self-righteous occupant can be huge.

Juliana Lee
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference: http://www.julianalee.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
You say "once I buy bank-owned", so I am assuming you haven't bought anything yet! Have you agent make sure that properties are vacant that you purchase. If there are tenants there, it is probably a short sale and not bank owned. Check with your agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
I would talk to a lawyer about that. Most probably you will have to give the tenant a 60-day notice and then start the eviction procedures, assuming that tenant does not cooperate.
Web Reference: http://talisrealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 18, 2012
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