In a nut shell:
So, you’ve found a property you want to purchase. One problem, it’s currently tenant-occupied, and the seller refuses to evict them. When a seller has stated that they will not enact eviction processes, it will fall on you, the buyer, to do so.
Need to know:
- In most cities, you need to have “just cause” to evict a tenant. Otherwise, if the tenant is not “at-fault” for eviction, you may end up having to pay a relocation fee for the tenant.
- These processes will vary between different states, but if you decide to make an offer on the property, your buying agent will help you with finding the right resources for the eviction process.
Here are some resources to get you started:
In California, tenant rights are highly protected, so an eviction can be a tricky endeavor that often entails paying a relocation fee for the tenant. The Los Angeles Housing Authority has provided a helpful list of situations that do not constitute the tenant being “at-fault”. In any of these situations, the landlord may be responsible for covering the costs of relocating the tenant. For examples of what constitutes “just cause” for eviction, you can reference this article provided by the San Francisco Tenant's Union.
In Seattle, a landlord must have “just cause” to evict a tenant. You can reference the city’s website here to learn about what constitutes “just cause.”
The Austin Tenants Council offers a helpful brief regarding the process of legally evicting a tenant. You can find that here.
In Chicago, when a new landlord buys a rental property, all existing oral or written leases are still valid. Acquisition of a new property is not a legal justification for evicting existing tenants. New landlords are also not legally allowed to force tenants with current leases into new rental agreements. Additionally, new landlords must honor the rental rate outlined in each tenant’s lease agreement for the remainder of the lease. You can take a look at The Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance here for more information.