I am in escrow for a property that has 3 units and is fully occupied. Am I allowed to speak with the existing tenants?

Asked 9 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

My real estate agent and the seller's agent has advised me that it's illegal for me to contact and speak with the existing tenants because I'm not yet legally the owner of the property. However, I'd like to see if I can work out a deal with the existing tenants before my contingency periods are up, so I have options and can decide if I want to continue to move forward or not. Is it true that it's illegal for me to contact the existing tenants because we haven't closed escrow and I'm not the "legal" owner yet?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Sagar P. Parikh

    Contributor Level 19

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Nothing illegal about contacting the tenants, regardless of whether or not you're the legal owner. However, entering into agreements with the tenants may be difficult if you are not the legal owner yet.

  2. Dana Howard Shultz

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . I don't know of any law that would be violated by your contacting the existing tenants.

    However, I can easily imagine situations where your contacting the tenants - especially if you do not become the owner - could subject you to liability for interfering with the existing owner's contractual relationships with those tenants.

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  3. Pardis Patrick Ashouri

    Contributor Level 17

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . As pointed out in responses above that even though not "illegal" yet potential liability issues as well as inability of contractual creation and as pointed out in responses to your similar posting you have an agent and all communications and inquiries should be funneled through them to avoid potential issues of liability. Best of luck.

    In addition to AVVO's disclaimer, please note that by this answer no attorney client relationship is intended mor... more
  4. Albert Lee Crosner

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . My colleagues have all pointed out issues that you need to consider before contacting any of the tenants. Best of luck.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The... more

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