If I sell my house, does the new owner have to keep the tenant?

Asked by Kathryn Bonanno, Brooklyn, NY Sun Feb 10, 2013

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George Capella’s answer
George Capel…, , Brooklyn, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013
The previous answers are pretty good but no one addressed one of the most important factors in having to keep the current tenant. The amount of rental units is a very important factor; if the property has six or more units then you have to renew their lease when it expires. If you are purchasing the building and want one of the occupied units the court may allow you to evict one of your tenants if your mortgage requires owner occupied. You will need to take into consideration when purchasing because you will have to wait for them to move. It would be a better approach for you as the purchaser.
An agreement made outside of court is not binding and the court will make the vacate date subject to your first date both of you appear before the court. If the property is 5 units or less then the laws are different. You are not required to renew leases and you can get possession. You will have to be patient but you will get them out. Always consult an attorney and make sure that they specialize in Real Estate. They will be able to give you the most current information and also make sure you get a copy of everything that your attorney files and receives in reference to the case. This allows you to learn as you go along. If you don't understand something make sure that you ask your attorney to explain it and you will know the status of the case always... Good luck George Capella

If you have any questions call me at 347 425 5330
1 vote
Robbie Vaughn, Agent, Mineola, NY
Sun Feb 17, 2013
Maybe. That's why it can be harder to sell when you have tenants. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.bverealty.com
1 vote
Payment Plan…, Other Pro, New York, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013
Hello Kathryn,

There are many factors which may be involved with answering this question. One being rendering legal advice.

May we suggest you contact an attorney whose area of focus is Real Estate. They will gladly help you explore the best approach to a favorable outcome. Most can guide you with a simple free consultation.

Please be mindful that no Real Estate professional may, unless an attorney admitted to practice law in N.Y.S, give legal advice.

What is considered legal advice?

Often times, questions such as yours may seem harmless in answering, but should only be addressed by an attorney.

One way to gauge if someone is giving legal advise is as follows:

If the answer to your question has [alternative] advance approach, and someone, (a broker, or otherwise,) for direct gain or potential gain suggests you make, say, a right (instead of a left) when answering your question; and as a result of this suggestion you run the risk of being injured (financially) by such answer, this is considered giving legal advise.

Play it safe. Ask an attorney.
Although we DO NOT recommend any one attorney per se, we do suggest you Google "Real Estate Lawyers in (your ZIP Code).

Best wishes,
Payment-Plan Brokerâ„¢ Team
1-(718) PAY-PLANâ„¢ (729-7526)
1 vote
R Wright, Other Pro, NY,
Sun Feb 10, 2013
A lease, which in most cases is a binding document in court will be transferred to the new owners if it is still in effect. If you are holding the tenants security deposit remember to transfer those funds to the buyer as well at closing.

1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013
Is there a lease involved....If there is no lease involved, it's the new owner's decision to keep the tenant, or not; for any necessary legal advice consult with your attorney.
1 vote
Rhonda Holt, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Mar 6, 2013
Now if your tenants have leases then the new buyer can request they move before the closing but they don't have to and can stay til their lease expires. So now it's up to the buyer if they want to take the building with the lease tenants or not. Make sure it is Lear in your contract whether all tenants will stay, if any tenants agree to go. If you say one or more tenants agrees to move make sure you can get them out in time because the buyer can cancel the closing or cancel the contract.
0 votes
karen.ramirez, , Honolulu, HI
Wed Feb 20, 2013
Yeah i guess. I agree to George said! Good luck! :)
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013

Leases supercede sales so the answer is yes, they will have to keep the tenant if there is a valid lease in place.

0 votes
Tammy Benkwi…, Agent, Somers, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013
Probably. If the tenant has a lease, you have to disclose this when you are marketing the house. It is considered a pertinent fact that the buyer will likely not be able to actually move into a house they are buying until after the tenant leaves.
0 votes
Madeline Pad…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013
Hi Kathryn
As others have already mentioned, it is best to ask your attorney for legal advice here. What is
best for you if there is a lease involved and the tenant does not want to get out, you will have to

pay them to leave. Try and be in their best side because once they know you want to sell they
can either be cooperative or not. And keep in mind that buyers that are purchasing multifamily homes
need tenants anyways so they may want to keep them, as long as you can show proof that they pay
their rent.

Then answer is NO - but there any many things to consider.
good luck and if you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.
0 votes
Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013
Dear Kathryn:

In a typical contract of sale the property can be delivered either vacant or subject to a tenancy. The aspect of the deal is negotiated between the buyer and seller. When buyers give an offer on a property where there are tenants, the buyers will make their offer in one of two ways... either subject to vacancy (they want the tenants out), or subject to tenancy (they will keep the tenants).

For one reason or another, most of the time buyers want the property delivered vacant. Hence if you insist that the buyers take it with the tenants, you may be closing the door on a lot of potential buyers. At the same time, if guaranteeing the tenants will vacate is stressful you you, which quite often is the case, then you will have to insist that the purchaser accept the property with the tenants.

Usually we see that buyers who are willing to take the property with the tenants offer less than buyers making an offer subject to vacancy. This is due to the fact that the buyers are risking taking a potential headache from the sellers.

In some ways it is six of one and half a dozen of another, but the most important thing is that the property be priced correctly to begin with. This type of strategy usually will alleviate these types of issues. If I can be of further assistance please let me know. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes
jade munday, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013

As the seller, you have the choice wether to sell tyour property with the tenants or without. If you have a relationship with the tenants and want the buyer to keep them, then that is ok, when you list your property, we the agents will show the house and tell buyers you would like to sell this house with or with out tenants.Iwhich ever you decide) We sell many multi families with tenants and withbout tenants.

I hope this was helpful, please call me if you need any other help with selling your home.

Jade Munday
Lic. Real Estate Salesperson
Madison Estates
718 614 1852 (cell)
718 645 1665 Ioffice)
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Sun Feb 10, 2013
Do you have a lease, does the tenant and or new Buyer want each other?? Usually the Contract will state what needs to happen in order for the home to change hands.
0 votes
there is no lease. The new owner wants the apartment the tenant is in..
Flag Sun Feb 10, 2013
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