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How to Buy a Property with Existing Tenants

Suburban Home for Sale with Existing TenantsBuying a Fort Lauderdale rental property with existing tenants may seem like an ideal situation. After all, the ability to skip renovating the rental home, advertising, and screening tenants sounds very appealing. However, buying a property that is already leased comes with some benefits but also some challenges. To successfully purchase a property with existing tenants, it’s important to first learn as much as you can about the process and what to avoid.

The instant cash flows and turnkey nature of buying a leased property may make it seem like a great option for your next investment property. But it’s important not to assume that just because a property is leased, it is in good condition or that the tenants are responsible and punctual with rent payments. Rather, do your due diligence to ensure that a leased property is a good investment.

One of the first things you should examine when considering a leased property is the current lease agreement. When you buy a property occupied by tenants, you automatically inherit the lease agreement they signed with their old landlord. Because the lease is a binding contract, you will need to be comfortable living by the terms of that lease until it ends or comes up for renewal. In some cases, the tenant has agreed to terminate their lease upon the property’s sale, but that is not a common situation. Most of the time, you need to know what prior agreements govern your new investment.

In addition to examining the existing lease documents, it’s important to screen the current tenants carefully before buying the property. Treat the situation as if the tenants were applying for the first time, running thorough background and credit checks on them and verifying their payment history and references. Also, verify with the current owner or landlord that the tenant has paid a security deposit and that it is kept properly in a separate bank account.

Along with screening your tenants, it’s important to do a thorough evaluation of the property as well. To get a full sense of the property’s current condition, you will need to see the house’s condition and yard in person. With tenants already living in the property, it’s essential to know how conscientious they are about keeping the property clean and maintained. Also, be sure to ask the current owner about any current or past insurance claims, especially if they are tenant-caused. Too many insurance claims might make it harder for you to insure the property after the sale.

If everything checks out, you may have found an excellent, tenant-occupied rental property. But no matter if your new Fort Lauderdale investment already has tenants or not, you’ll need to be prepared to get and keep the property in habitable condition, ensure that the electrical and plumbing systems are safe and working correctly and that the structures are sound. While your new rental property may come with tenants already living there, the moment the sale is complete, you are fully responsible for managing and maintaining the property from that point on.

Property management can be a very involved task, especially if you are doing it yourself. Instead, why not turn the day-to-day tasks over to professionals? For more information about the property management services in Fort Lauderdale, contact us today or call us at 305-930-7867.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.