How to Handle Inherited Tenants

Sometimes when you purchase a rental, there are tenants there, and they inevitably become the your tenants, which are essentially inherited tenants. These can be good, because you don’t need to waste time trying to fill a vacant unit, and you’ll get immediate income, but it can also be a risky operation, since you don’t know what type of tenant they are, and they might be poorly trained by the last landlord. You really won’t know until you work with them, but you need to understand that legally, the leases do go with the property, so the lease stays the same when you take over.

First thing to do, is you’ll want to review the leases, and make sure to verify the income and the expenses are the responsibility of the tenant, and the financials that are necessary are provided.  You you want to compare these leases to the financials, since they can be altered and forged, and the leases can be changed by shady landlords. It does happen, so you should verify all of these.  You can use an Estoppel agreement, which is a simple form that tells you that the tenant knows the terms of the lease to the best of their knowledge.

You should make sure that you have this agreement, and you discuss as needs what is what, and you had them paying, and who owns anything, and any conditions.  You should make sure to keep this on file as well so that if there are any issues, you can bring this up.

When it comes to owning a new property, usually the tenants don’t know you, and it’s important that you introduce yourself accordingly, and tell them that you’re the new owners and are responsible for handling any issues as needed, questions related to the release, maintenance requests, and the like. This will reassure tenants that the property is still coming along, and it reassures the tenant that you’re not a slumlord, but instead someone who is happy to be the new owner.

Finally, let’s talk raising the rent. Sometimes, the rents are too low, and some landlords are hesitant to raise the rents.  However, you should be careful about handling this.  There really isn’t some sort of clear-cut answer on this, and if you don’t have the captia to handle this, sometimes keeping it the same for the first year as you fix up the units and get new ones in is a good idea. If you have more capita, you can sometimes get away with this, and you’ll have to realize that you’re going to need to accept the immediate loss in some cases and find new tenants since sometimes they’ll leave if you do this quickly. But remember you need to give a thirty day’s notice on this.

For many people, figuring out just what you need to do with new tenants is important, since ultimately, it does play a part in your overall tenant happier too.