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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Selling and Buying Tenant-occupied Homes in Tucson

It is quite common in the Tucson homes market for tenant-occupied homes to go on sale. With so many students, military personnel and snowbirds, we have a lot of renters in Pima County.

When it comes to selling a house, the presence of tenants creates several issues affecting both the sellers and the buyers.

Many tenants are quite cooperative in the selling process, particularly if the landlord/tenant relationship has been a good one. If there has been a hostile relationship, then the seller may want to wait until the tenant has moved from the property. Sellers want to have a good relationship with their tenants for two reasons.  First, the tenant needs to be cooperative in allowing access to the property and in keeping it clean and in good showing condition. Arizona law is pretty specific regarding tenant rights and advance notice of access to the property by the landlord.

Tenants also may be quite happy to share their knowledge of the property and any maintenance issues. I love it when I show a property to my prospective buyers and the tenant is present and willing spill the beans about the property.

Buyers too need to be aware of issues related to the presence of tenants in a property they want to buy. A major misconception is that the buyer can give the tenant notice to leave as soon as the property changes hands. But under Arizona law, the lease (and tenant) goes with the property so the buyer is acquiring the tenant as well as the property at closing. Even if the tenant is on a month to month basis, the new owner must follow Arizona law in giving tenants notice.

The bottom line is to have a talk with your real estate agent regarding tenant issues.  This applies to both sellers and buyers who may be considering a tenant-occupied property. Give me a call!

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