Q: I am buying a portfolio of homes from another investor. When should I notify the residents and what do I have to say?
A: When you buy one property (or multiple) you step into the shoes of the former landlord and you take on their rights and obligations. As soon as the escrow closes, you should send a letter to the residents notifying them of the sale, providing the new legal name of their landlord, contact information and, of course, how they can pay rent. The letter is a type of lease modification where you are documenting the changes as to landlord information. Therefore, its important that you include this in your initial communication. This should be hand-delivered or sent via certified mail to your resident. You don’t legally have to include any specifics about the lease, such as the rent or deposit (because those don’t change just because you bought the home), but some landlords chose to do so, particularly when the resident is month-to-month.
Mark B. Zinman, Attorney, Zona Law Group