'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 firstname.lastname@example.org