'Ask Legal Neil' - Buying a property with an existing tenant.

This month for 'Ask Legal Neil' we have a question from Kim in Somerset. Kim would like to know the legal in's and out's of buying a property that has an existing tenant. 

Q. I would like to purchase and live in a property which currently has a tenant with a 2-year lease. What happens in this case?  

Congratulations on finding a property that you wish to buy and live in! 

The short answer is: a new owner cannot terminate or modify a lease without the tenant’s consent. Non-Bermudians have equal tenant rights.

Here are some points to consider in the meantime: 

Ask your lawyer to check the lease is in a satisfactory format

If rent control applies (ARV of $27,000 or less), make sure the property is compliant

Check when the existing lease is to end  

Check a deposit was paid by the tenant and make sure the deposit is accounted for at closing

Ask the current owner if the tenant has complied with the lease and has paid rents on time; if they haven’t, check with your lawyer for possible solutions

Neil Molyneux is a member of the Property Practice Group at Appleby (Bermuda) Limited.

The above content should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.  Before proceeding with any matters discussed here, persons are advised to consult with a lawyer.

If you have any questions you would like to ask Neil - on any and all legal matters regarding Bermuda property, please direct your question to sales@propertyskipper.com

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