Updated: Jan 5
When a landlord inherits a tenant through the acquisition of a rental property, it can be a tricky situation. On the one hand, the landlord may feel obligated to honor the previous landlord's agreements with the tenant. On the other hand, the landlord may want to establish their own policies and procedures for managing the property.
Here are some tips for how landlords can handle inherited tenants:
Review the lease agreement: The first thing a landlord should do is review the existing lease agreement to see what terms and conditions have been agreed upon. This will give the landlord a better understanding of the tenant's rights and obligations, as well as any special provisions that may be in place.
Update the lease agreement: If the new landlord wishes to make any changes to the existing lease agreement, they should do so in writing and have the tenant sign a new lease or an amendment to the existing lease. This will ensure that both parties are clear on the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement.
Negotiate a new lease agreement: If the inherited tenant's lease is coming to an end, the landlord may want to consider negotiating a new lease agreement with the tenant. This can be a good opportunity for the landlord to review and update the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement, and to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the agreement.
Communicate with the tenant: It's important for the landlord to establish open lines of communication with the inherited tenant. This can help to build trust and understanding between the parties. The landlord should make it clear that they are committed to upholding the terms of the lease and that they are willing to work with the tenant to address any issues that may arise.
Make necessary repairs and maintenance: Landlords are responsible for maintaining the rental property in a wearable and livable condition. This includes making necessary repairs and performing regular maintenance. If the inherited tenant has requested repairs or maintenance in the past, the landlord should address these issues as soon as possible.
Screen the inherited tenant: While the previous landlord may have already screened the tenant, it's still a good idea for the new landlord to perform their own tenant screening. This may include checking the tenant's credit score and rental history, as well as verifying their employment and income. By thoroughly screening the inherited tenant, the landlord can ensure that they are renting to a responsible and reliable tenant.
Consider adjusting the rent price: Depending on the circumstances, the new landlord may want to consider adjusting the rent price for the inherited tenant. This could be done for a variety of reasons, such as market changes, or improvements made to the property. Landlords can also consider adding price adjustments for pets, parking, lawn / snow care or other applicable fees. If the landlord does decide to adjust the rent price, it's important to do so in a fair and reasonable manner, and to give the tenant proper notice in accordance with local laws and the terms of the lease agreement.
Familiarize yourself with local laws: It's important for landlords to be familiar with local laws and regulations that pertain to landlord-tenant relationships. This includes laws on rental agreements, security deposits, evictions, and other issues. By understanding these laws, landlords can ensure that they are complying with their legal obligations and protecting their rights as a landlord.
Keep accurate records: Landlords should keep accurate records of all interactions and transactions with inherited tenants. This includes copies of the lease agreement, receipts for rent payments and security deposits, and any correspondence or notices related to the rental property. Accurate records can be helpful in the event of any disputes or legal issues that may arise.
In conclusion, handling inherited tenants as a landlord can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips outlined above, landlords can establish a positive and productive relationship with their inherited tenants, while also maintaining the integrity and profitability of their rental property.
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