Factors to Consider Before Buying Property with Tenants in Pennsylvania

Last Updated on April 19, 2022 by Kravelv

Are you in the market for real estate property? Whether you are in the market for an investment property or a house for your primary residence, there is a chance that the perfect option you just spotted is occupied. Before you rush in to seal the deal, it would help if you took a step back and weighed what that means to avoid last-minute shock or land in hot soup with the authorities. From landlord obligations to tenant rights, among other risks, you can learn more about it at Restorative Housing Solutions to ensure you make an informed purchase. Here is a quick look at what you need to know before buying a house with tenants.

The tenants’ rights

Tenants are tied to the property, not the landlord. As the new owner, therefore, you can bulldoze your way into the property, as that could land you in trouble with the law. If it is an investment property, this doesn’t have to be bad, especially if the tenants aren’t the troublesome kind. However, if you intend to make significant changes, or occupy the property, you need to consider and adhere to the set laws.

The most straightforward approach would be to make an offer for the property with the condition that it should be vacant before closing the deal, putting the burden on the seller’s shoulders. 

Another option is to renegotiate the terms with the tenants, or offer to buy them out and maybe even offer an incentive if you need them to vacate, noting that they are under no obligation to accept your terms if the lease is in place. If you try to force your way, you might end up with costly and time-consuming lawsuits, stressing the need to employ due diligence and adherence to Pennsylvania rent rules.

Landlord’s obligations

Once you finalize the deal, you inherit the landlord’s obligations. This means that you are responsible for ensuring that the property is safe and habitable as per the local laws. Among such responsibilities includes;

  • Ensuring the structural elements are safe such as the stairs, floors, hallways, roof, and walls,
  • Keeping the property clean including the provision of trash containers, managing known toxins, and dealing with pest infestations
  • Facilitating habitation by ensuring the availability of water to mention a few

Therefore, before making the purchase, you need to evaluate the conditions to avoid overpaying for a property that will only dig deeper into your pockets.

Changing lease terms

As the new landlord, provided you adhere to the state laws, you can change the lease terms. For instance, for a tenant on a month to month lease, you can increase the rent amount before a month starts, provided you notify the tenant within the required period. For more extended contracts, say 6-months lease, the tenant is legally allowed to stay until the lease expires, then you can change the terms. You could also use the owner move-in eviction if you intend to use the property as your primary residence. Keep in mind that using the approach means that you have to move into the property within 90 days of evictions and use it as your primary residence and not for rental purposes.

Buying a house with tenants might initially seem like a straightforward quest; you finalize the deal, evict the tenants, and proceed with your plans. That’s far from the truth, as the tenants are bound to the property, not the owner, and changing owners doesn’t affect their lease terms.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook