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Old 09-28-2005, 07:22 AM
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Default Landlord Tip of the Week

1. Tenant's rights & your rights<br>2.
Notification<br>3. Unpaid rent & prepaid rent<br><br><br>Landlord's
& Tenant's Rights:<br>The tenant's rights remain
unchanged as if there had been no change in landlords,
except in the question of unpaid rent, which we will get
to later.<br><br>The existing rental agreement
remains in force, unless it is changed on 30 days'
notice, as is provided in the Landlord/Tenant Laws of
most states. It is important that you get the original
of the rental agreement for your files & read it
carefully. There may be provisions in it which will affect
how you can deal with the tenants in the property.
One of them may be the length of notice required to
change any provision of the rental agreement.<br><br>If
there is no written rental agreement, the tenant has
the same rights as those provided in the
Landlord/Tenant Law & other applicable portions of state law &
none other. In some cases there may be verbal
agreements between the old landlord & tenant. The only
circumstances under which those would remain in force would be
if they appeared in the earnest money agreement when
you purchased the property.<br><br>Those might be
such things as the landlord wouldn't raise the rent
until a certain date, or that the tenant is allowed
sixty days' notice for any change.<br><br>If there is a
lease in force, that goes with the property, & no terms
of that may be changed until the term of the lease
expires. It is important that you get the original of the
lease & read it, as well, for the same reasons that it
is important to read the rental
agreement.<br><br>Notifying the Tenant:<br>You are required to tell the
tenant he has a new landlord. That must be done
immediately upon your taking possession of the property.
Follow the notification requirements in your
state.<br><br>If you do not notify the tenant, that does not
absolve you of responsibility for the care and
maintenance of the property. You may not get the rent if the
tenant doesn't know you're supposed to get it,
either.<br><br>Unpaid and prepaid rent:<br>Rent owed the old landlord
falls into 2 categories. First, there is rent that is
owed totally to the old landlord. Second, there is the
rent that is owed partially to the old landlord &
partially to you.<br><br>Rent that is owed totally to the
old landlord is no concern of yours, except to the
extent that you may have a deadbeat tenant in your new
property. Except in the unlikely event that the old
landlord assigns you the rights to the past due rent, it
is not yours to collect or benefit from. The old
landlord can sue the tenant for the past due rent &
possibly get a judgment against him. But you are out of
it.<br><br>Rent that is owed partially to you is very much your
concern. That should be paid to you at closing. It
behooves you to see that you collect all rents owed to you
at closing.<br><br>For example, if you are closing a
sale on July 15 and taking possession of the property
on July 16, you will be owed an amount equal to 15
days of rent. So if the tenant has not paid his rent
for July, the old landlord has to pay you for it,
regardless of whether the old landlord has collected it or
not.<br><br>Rent that is prepaid, such as last month's rent, & all
deposits, should be paid to you at closing as well. If they
are not, you could be stuck with a month's rent & a
bunch of deposits when the tenant moves
out.<br><br>Evicting the tenant:<br>If the tenant has not paid the old
landlord the rent for the month, you probably don't want
the tenant in your property. However, you cannot give
the tenant a three-day, five-day or 72-hour notice
(whatever is appropriate in your state), because the rent
is not owed to you, but to the old
landlord.<br><br>You can give him a 30-day, no-cause notice, though.
And as the new owner, there is no way it could be
considered retaliatory for a complaint. In fact, barring an
incredible excuse, it is advisable to send the tenant a
30-day notice, & get rid of him.

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