Bought house tenant has no lease?? - Posted by Maria (FL)

Posted by Rob FL on December 27, 2004 at 21:57:23:

This is what I currently use. You probably should have an attorney review anything before actually using it though.


As tenants of the following-described property: ___, we hereby agree to the following:

  1. The lease dated ____ is in full force and effect and has not been amended or modified in any way.

  2. The lease terminates on: ___

  3. The monthly rent is: ____

  4. The amount of deposit being held by the owner/owner?s agent is: _____

  5. There is no other money being held by the owner/owner?s agent under the lease
    except the following: _____

  6. There are no unpaid repairs, utility bills, or other money or obligations owed to us from the property owner except the following: ____

  7. Refrigerator, range/oven, dishwasher, all other kitchen appliances, window blinds and treatments, pool equipment and accessories (if property has a pool), ceiling fans, air-conditioning units, lighting and other fixtures on or about the property are owned by the property owner, except the following: ____

  8. _____________ is/are the only person(s) who has/have occupancy rights in the property. The lease has not been assigned to anyone else and the property has not been sublet to anyone else. The tenants do not have any ownership rights, equitable interests, agreement for deeds, or purchase options affecting the property. The tenants have no other rights or interest in the property except as described in this estoppel letter.


Bought house tenant has no lease?? - Posted by Maria (FL)

Posted by Maria (FL) on December 27, 2004 at 10:08:46:

I have a friend who has bought a villa (florida) and would like to live in it but it came with a tenant that didnt have a lease with the previous owner. I checked the archives but couldnt narrow it down to tenants without a lease. Does he have to file eviction or can he give him a certain time frame to leave?? Thanks so much.

Re: Bought house tenant has no lease?? - Posted by GL(ON)

Posted by GL(ON) on December 28, 2004 at 07:29:43:

Heres how I do it. When looking over a property I carry a clipboard to make notes. While talking to the tenant I ask in a conversational way, “Have you lived here long? Do you like living here? Any complaints, does the apartment (house) need anything fixed? How much is the rent?” etc etc. meanwhile setting everything down. The estoppel letter form in another post is a good idea.

When I have all the info I need, especially how much is the rent, did you pay a security deposit or last months rent,and do you have a lease, I say “could you look this over to be sure I got everything right” and have them sign it.

This is all BEFORE buying and acts as a check against the sellers possible over optimistic (lying) statements. And also gives you some ammunition if the tenant claims later, that they paid a big security deposit, the rent is only blah blah blah etc. you have the facts in their own words with their signature. If I started doing this earlier it would have saved thousands of dollars.

Now if you havent done this, you will have to go by your local laws and do an eviction. I would talk to the tenant first and try to keep everything on a friendly basis but even if they said “we are moving at the end of the month no problem” I would still give them legal notice or have them sign a letter giving ME notice in case they change their mind ( tenants often do this) in a friendly way of course.

Re: Bought house tenant has no lease?? - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on December 27, 2004 at 13:11:31:

Contact the tenant and talk to them. If they aren’t on any sort of lease or contract, Florida Statute 83 governs landlord/tenant law. Time frames depend on how often they pay rent, weekly, monthly, etc.

In the future you need to be very careful when buying a property with an occupant inside. What would happen if the occupant showed you a lease signed by the previous owner for the next 3 years at $200/month with landlord paying all utilities??? Or even worse, what if the occupant said “I just closed on this property 2 weeks ago, who the heck are you???” You could really get screwed here.

I always get occupants to sign estoppel letters prior to the closing just to cover this type of situation.

Re: Bought house tenant has no lease?? - Posted by Randy (SD)

Posted by Randy (SD) on December 27, 2004 at 11:08:38:

First, I’ll start with the obvious has your friend talked to the tenant to see what their intentions are?
Did the tenant initially sign a lease with the previous owners? If so what were the terms of that lease regarding non renewal? Most leases automatically convert to a month-to-month lease upon expiration and contain a provision something like “either party may terminate this lease with 30 days written notice”. This would allow your friend to simply give the tenant 30 days written notice.

Here are a couple links you may find more info:

Re: Bought house tenant has no lease?? - Posted by Tony(ga)

Posted by Tony(ga) on December 27, 2004 at 16:22:36:

Would you be willing to post a copy of an estoppel letter?


Re: Bought house tenant has no lease?? - Posted by Maria (fl)

Posted by Maria (fl) on December 27, 2004 at 21:12:42:

Thanks so much for the info. I will follow up and get some info. Just for the record, It is not my home, it is a friend of my husbands who is from Greece and is unaware of things. I have 4 rentals and try to cover my bases. As always I learn new things here from the experts in the field. Happy Holidays to all!!!