Existing Tenant Lease

Asked by Anne, Rhode Island Tue Jun 3, 2008

I plan to buy a two family home in Rhode Island and will live in one of the two units. The existing tenants have leases with the previous owner...how legally bound am I to honor that lease? Is it null and void because I did not sign it, or do I have to uphold the terms.

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Jun 3, 2008
Check with a Rhode Island lawyer. However, generally the purchaser of a property is bound by existing leases. So, for instance, you can't buy and then just evict a tenant.

Having said that, you can always negotiate with either of the tenants, for instance by buying out the remainder of their lease. Or you could move that burden onto the seller by making your purchase contingent on one of the units being vacant at settlement.

Hope that helps.
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Debt Free Da…, , 85260
Tue Jun 3, 2008
I can only speak from experience in Arizona, but the leases most likely would have to be honored by the new buyer. Check with a real estate attorney for further clarification.
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