Q: I purchased a property as a short-sale that has a tenant in the property.  Do I have the same rights to evict the person as I would if I purchased the property at a trustee sale?

A: No.  In a short-sale, if there is an occupant in the property you take ownership subject to the possessory rights of the occupant.  In other words, you usually stand in the same position as the former owner and have to honor the possessory rights of the occupant.  This is because the law deems you to have constructive knowledge of their rights.  Therefore, you are bound by their occupancy rights.  If the occupant has a lease, you have to honor the remainder of the lease term.  If they are on a month-to-month lease, you can terminate that lease as long as the notice is given at least 30 days prior to the periodic rental period.  For example, if the rent is due on the first, you can terminate their month-to-month lease September 30, 2011, as long as they receive the notice on or before August 31, 2011.  Please remember that while you are bound by the lease, so is the tenant.  Therefore, the tenant must start paying you rent and comply with all terms of the rental agreement.

Information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should always contact an attorney for legal advice and not rely on information published here.