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Thread: Does an existing lease signed with old property owner binds new owner?

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    Does an existing lease signed with old property owner binds new owner?

    Hi All,

    Bought a property recently in a complex, the seller had tenants in and they had a lease agreement with him until January 2015
    Now, the registration of the property into my name is in place and I need to move in as soon as its done (per offer to purchase signed)

    Does the existing lease binds me? in such a way that now I can not move into the property in June because of the tenants lease that is in place?

    I'm lost, please help

    Thank you

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    HI SSS100,
    your agreement would have stated whether you are getting vacant possession of the property or not. The lease of the present tenant would have stated that the remaining portion of the lease, should the seller sell, would form part of the deal.

    Your best bet would be to negotiate with the tenant offering some moneys to have lease cancelled.

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    Greig Whitton (11-May-14)

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    The signed Offer To Purchases(OTP) states the following:

    Part 4.
    Occupation of property shall be given to the purchaser on REGISTRATION……

    Part 5.
    Possession of the property will be given to the purchaser upon date of transfer….

    NB:
    No referral is made with regard to existing tenants in the OTP, which should have been stated if tenants had ongoing lease which will still be effective

    As such, my understanding is that the current lease tenants have is with seller, and upon registration I become owner and entitled to occupy property per above clauses, unless of course there is then a new lease between myself and tenants

    Is my understanding correct legally?

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Unfortunately 'Huur gaan voor koop' so any lease the tenants had with the previous owner is binding on you irrespective of what the OTP says.
    You have a claim against the seller for any loss you may incur while you wait for the lease to expire, having said that good luck trying to enforce that.

    As said above, find the tenants other accommodation and give them an incentive to move. Perhaps a financial one or remove the front and back door for repairs and start renovating the bathroom and kitchen by removing the toilet, sink and geyser.
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    Greig Whitton (11-May-14)

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    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    Wynn is right that tenants have the right to stay. Seller should have given due notice if he was really committing VACANT occupation.

    It seems that OTP did not say VACANT occupation, so seller is not obliged hand it over empty.

    When I do my due diligence I always ask for lease end of current tenants and what they pay. However, seller and agent should have mentioned ia tenant they have some integrity.

    You cannot remove doors etc. That will land you in hot water (spoilation). Rather try to help them fididng somehing new and maybe offer them a golden handshake. Legally you have little or no chance in my view. Or just explain and ask them nicely whether they are prepared to move earlier without any pressure first.
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    Greig Whitton (11-May-14)

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    All views noted, thank you all
    I think first i will try to get them to leave. If they insist on syating, then i will unfortunately go Wynn route...just be impossible and start with some work in the place
    Make their life a living hell

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    Even if they were illegal squatters in the house you would still have a problem (legally), but wynn's route would be my way of going forward if .......
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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    I think first i will try to get them to leave. If they insist on syating, then i will unfortunately go Wynn route...just be impossible and start with some work in the place
    Make their life a living hell
    You cannot do this! They have every right to see you off via an attorney & will win outright. If they continue paying their rental then there is little you can do, except try to win them over.

    You have been taken by the seller!
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    Yes the seller should have divulged everything to you especially if he had leases in place.
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    desA (09-May-14)

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    Dont' worry..have a plan already and its good bye tenats

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