The presence of a tenant in the house you intend to buy is a common occurrence in the purchase of a second home and causes a variety of issues. Although the tenant and the new landlord have different legal rights, the legislation and general practices favour the tenant. As a result, if the tenant lives in the house you want to buy, we recommend that you reach an agreement before purchasing the house. When you read our article, you will understand why you must agree.
Legal Tenant Definition and Lease Agreement
If we are discussing a lease, it means that there is a lease agreement, either in writing or verbally. The lease agreement became a mutual debt-receivable bond with the inclusion of the lease agreement under the Law on Third Parties. As a result, simply changing landlords does not give a tenant who meets the terms of the lease agreement the right to evict him from the house.
Click here to access the Lease Agreement and the Code of Obligations.
How Long Can You Legally Remove the Tenant from the House You Purchased?
If you did not legally enter into an agreement with the tenant prior to purchasing the house and there is no annotation in the deed in accordance with the lease contract, you must send a notice within one month of the completion of the title deed transfer (click to download the example of the notice). The fact that you have not sent any notice within a month means that you agree to the terms and conditions of the previous lease agreement. After the notice has expired, the tenant must vacate the house at the end of the lease agreement, or within 6 months at the latest if the remaining duration of the lease agreement is more than 6 months. However, if the tenant does not fulfill his obligations within this time frame, you have the option to remove it without waiting for the lease agreement to expire or 6 months. Review our eviction undertaking letter for more information.
Article 351 of the Code of Obligations: "If the person who later acquires the lease is required by law to use it for himself, his wife, his descendants, his superiors, or other dependents, he may terminate the lease agreement with a lawsuit filed after six months, provided he notifies the tenant in writing within one month of acquisition. The person who later acquires the lease may, if he so desires, exercise the right to terminate the contract due to necessity through a lawsuit filed within one month of the end of the contract period."
Click here to access the Law of Obligations.
However, there is no legal time limit for making an agreement with the tenant before or after receiving the house. However, if possible, this agreement should be made in writing and in the presence of witnesses. Otherwise, if a dispute arises, verbal agreements may pose a variety of proof challenges.
One thing to keep in mind is that the rental deposit is refunded. Because the lease agreement and terms are transferred to the new landlord, the old landlord must transfer the deposit to the new landlord once the deed is completed. Although the deposit can be returned to the tenant, this is not the proper procedure. However, if the old landlord fails to transfer or return the deposit, both the new landlord and the tenant may sue.
In the event that there is an annotation in the housing to be purchased in accordance with the lease agreement
Although it is uncommon in residences, particularly in long-term leases, an annotation can be deducted from the title deed that will be valid for the duration of the lease agreement. This annotation means that the tenant cannot be evicted from the house for the duration of the lease agreement as long as he fulfills his obligations. If the deed is purchased along with this annotation, it means that the terms of the legally existing lease agreement are also accepted. If you want to live in the house you want to buy, find out if there is an annotation in the deed at the beginning. Because if a deed is annotated in a residence, there is most likely a lease agreement with a maturity of 5 years or more.
One last piece of advice: if you want to live in the house you want to buy right away, negotiate with the tenant yourself. Do not buy the house based on the landlord's or real estate agent's promise that they will come out immediately. Because this promise is not legally binding.