News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Yup. There’s a form for that…

Dear Property Guy:

I am purchasing a house in Bend as an investment property. There is currently a tenant in the house. The rent is fair and the tenant is a good one, so we’d like them to stay. How do the rent, security deposit, and lease transfer with the new ownership?

— Bendvestor

Dear Bend:

Clever name… Anyway, yours is an interesting, though by no means unique, case. And like most things in real estate, there is a quick and easy form for that.

Few things first, I’m glad you were able to pick up a house at a good price. Pickings are very slim.

Next, and as a sidenote, houses normally sell for more when unoccupied. Everything from staging, to viewings, to inspection and repairs are easier in an unoccupied home. And really, there is nothing worse than trying to sell a house with someone else’s stuff all over the place.

That all said, the form you are looking for is called, “Assignment and Assumption of Lease.” This basically transfers all the rights and responsibilities of an existing lease to a new owner.

At this point, it is important to note that having a title agent that is familiar with all this will ensure things go as smooth as possible.

— Mike

Dear Property Guy:

We are renting a house here is Sisters. It’s a cool place, and we’ve always had a nice relationship with our landlords up until now.

It seems our dryer stopped drying, and the landlord’s terse response was, “We’re not planning to fix it.”

It was there and working when we moved in. What is their obligation to us?

— Washed. Not Dried.

Dear Washed:

I’m trying to imagine a scenario where a landlord wouldn’t want to spend a few bucks to keep a good tenant happy, but stranger things have happened.

In Oregon, the law requires a rental unit to include things like: weather proofing, hot and cold running water, sewer, heat, electricity, trash cans, locks, and smoke detectors. Notice this list does not include things like washer/dryer or even a refrigerator.

That said, this is a good time to refer to your lease. This is where the extras and fancy stuff that comes with a house would be listed. For you, if a dryer is listed there, they would be legally required to fix it.

This may also be a nice time to reach out and see what’s up with your landlord and try to understand what’s going on. Property Guy is a huge fan of just talking things out. Are they feeling like you are under market rent? Were they just having a bad day? I’d encourage you to open a dialogue and see if you can work it out.

— Mike

Mike Zoormajian is principal at WetDog Properties in Sisters, providing local property management and investor services. Questions and comments to: [email protected] Free legal advice is worth what you pay for it. Consult a real attorney before doing anything crazy.


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