My family and I just bought a home and is in the middle of a mess. The previous owner allowed a tenant to rent the back end of her 5 acre land for a fee each month, in a mobile home. When the owner sold me the property, she didn't give the tenant a proper notice of eviction, but the tenant did know the owner was selling the house. During the process, the tenant made it clear that he would like to continue to stay there under our new ownership, but we didn't want him there as we have kids and don't want strangers around. In order for escrow to close, the appraisers said that the mobile home in the back of the land and the tenant must vacate the property, so both the selling and buying agents, along with the owner, moved the mobile home off the property and later back on the property to close the deal. This was done without the tenant knowing as he was already living off the property until an arrangement can be made between all of us. When the tenant found out he was upset, to say the least, at the owner. In fact, the tenant and his family had an altercation with the movers of the mobile home as they were moving it back on the land. The mobile home is trashed and emptied out.
My first reaction is you must be joking but I know better. You should contact the broker manager of the listing firm immediately and advise him you will be holding the firm responsible for any damages you incur as a result of these events. And you should report these events to the California Bureau of real estate – these are the kinds of agents that give the entire industry a bad name.
I echo Mr. Moss' sound advice.
It would still be prudent to formally and lawfully terminate the tenancy of the mobile home folks. I strongly suggest that you promptly consult a local landlord-tenant attorney, and make that happen.
You should also immediately contact your insurance agent, and see about obtaining a landlord's liability insurance policy (including coverage for wrongful eviction and invasion of privacy) - if you just have a homeowner's policy, it may well exclude claims by tenants.
This whole mess should be the responsibility of the seller and the agents/broker. But as the new owner, you have inherited it. They should at least be assisting and may have some liability to you. You should consult with a local landlord tenant attorney before doing anything. Many cities prohibit trailers on residential property unless permitted. That may be one way out of this. But talk to an attorney first - you don't want to do anything that might cause the tenant to sue you.
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