Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Are There Tenants in The Home You Are Hoping To Buy?

Posted in Uncategorized by Jeff Dowler on November 27, 2009

Are there tenants living in the home you are hoping to buy?

As a first time buyer there are some things you need to be on the lookout for when conducting your home search. One of these issues is whether there are tenants in the home or not.

While this may seem to be a small issue, it can become a big one.

You should know if a home is occupied, and if so if the residents are tenants. This is important because tenants have some rights in terms of notice to vacate in the event a home is being sold. The laws may vary from state to state, but here in CA you must give a tenant 30 days notice if they have been in the leased property for 1 year or less; if more than 1 year, 60 days is required. Thus this can have an impact on when you, the buyer, can take possession of the property, or when closing should occur so you can take possession at that time if the seller has not provided appropriate notice.

Stuff left over from a tenant vacancy

I know of one recent situation where the buyers were not even told that the residents were tenants. Rather they were led to believe the home would be vacated at the time of closing, which was fairly short. And since the closing occurred quickly and the tenants were not given notice, the property was still occupied at the time of closing.

You may never come across this situation but it always makes sense to ask.

Another situation that can arise is that a short sale property thought to be vacant may actually have people living there (e.g., the owner is trying to make a little money). Again, it always pays, as a buyer, for you and your agent to be aware of the situation so you can plan for any contingencies that may arise.

Another recommendation is to be sure to ask that the property be vacant at closing in your offer, which includes a condition that all the seller’s, and/or tenant’s, possessions in the home and garage or on the grounds are  excluded from the sale and removed by the time you close.


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If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude” Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits


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