What happens if one wants to purchase a property (say condo) that has a tenant that is "protected"?

Asked by First Time Buyer, San Francisco, CA Mon Mar 22, 2010

If the new buyer wants to live there can you ask the renter to move out? I understand about the price increases in rent control, etc. But not about changing from rental to home owner residence. Or is the buyer stuck with the renter until they choose to move or die?! Thank you in advance.

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Rob Regan’s answer
Rob Regan, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Mar 22, 2010
The word "protected" should say it all. Well, a lot of it. As everyone else say speak to an attorney - and do NOT take that advice lightly. If you attempt to negotiate or evict on your own.... well, let's just say there are a lot of land mines that only an experience attorney with protected tenants can protect you from.

Chances are an attorney will advise a "buy out".... but how much depends on how protected they are, and on how much the tenant would prefer to stay. So you might want to take Dan's advice if you're not into risk and time and attorney's. Or you can speak to an attorney and then price the risk and expected cost into your purchase offer. Good luck
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Mon Mar 22, 2010
I would look elsewhere. You could hire an attorney only to find out that either 1 you can do nothing (but pay a lot of $$$ to that attorney) or 2 you pay tons of $$$$ to evict them. Either way it sounds cheaper to walk away before it gets very expensive.
1 vote
Flag Tue Mar 7, 2017
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Mar 22, 2010
An attorney who specializes in real estate can best advise you--have him/her review all paperwork regarding the tenant and then make a determination.
0 votes
Eric Castong…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Mar 22, 2010
There are limited situations where a tenant can be protected in a condo, but you need to check with an attorney.

You'll need the date that the tenant moved in-through an estoppel certificate or a lease. The key for protection is the date they moved in, as most single units, (houses and condos) would not fall under protection.

Good luck.

0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Mar 22, 2010
first timer,

Dave's advice is good - check with an attorney - we can give some referrals if you want. I can't give legal advice, but my understanding of the rules is that you are stuck with a protected tenant until they decide to move out - you can't do an owner move-in on a protected tenant in any situation as far as I know.

However, in almost any situation if you throw enough money at them they will agree to find another place to live. If you plan to buy such a property you need attorney advice in advance on all the possible ramifications, and the property should be discounted accordingly.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Managing Broker
0 votes
David Tapper, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Mon Mar 22, 2010
The best advice anyone can give you is to talk with a good real estate attorney who knows about rent control in S.F.

One way to get some free advice is to call the tenant hotline and ask them if you were a protected tenant and a new owner bought the place, what would be your rights.

Good luck.

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