What to do about elderly tenants in a house we might purchase?
March 16, 2012 4:26 PM Subscribe
I'm considering purchasing a house. It's a fantastic midcentury home, it's got the perfect square footage, a pool, a really cool atrium entryway, and it's structurally sound. It's also being used as a group home by about seven elderly people and one mentally disabled younger man. They seem very nice. One of the elderly men is living in the garage. It's not a converted garage, just a regular two-car garage with exposed structure and wiring, etc. The house is clearly not being maintained well, and frankly, it's pretty depressing to see.
posted by anonymous to law & government (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
SOMEONE is going to buy this house. We love the house. We can easily imagine ourselves living happily inside it. It's probably the only chance we're going to have to live in something as architecturally significant as this, as houses like this really don't come into our price range, ever. It's perfect for our family, our lifestyle, it's in the school district we want to be in, I could go on and on.
So, if we buy the house, it comes with little old people. Sweet little old people who were really nice to my kid when we went to view the house. They have six months left on their lease. We can ask the seller to break the lease and give them sixty days' notice, leaving us with thirty days of landlording them. Kicking them all out seems cruel, but allowing that situation to continue seems like elder abuse. In any case, the way they are living seems like some laws are being broken.
What the hell do we do? Do we get social services involved? Please don't say "buy a different house," because then we're going to be worried about what happened to these people anyway, and we also won't have an amazing midcentury house, which would be all of the lose, none of the win.
Some info about us: we live in Southern California. The house in question is a short sale, so we're negotiating directly with the bank, but there is an actual person who owns the home. We can't afford to pay the mortgage on that house and the rent where we're currently living simultaneously, and we can't afford to fix that place up while we're not living there. The rent they pay is about six hundred dollars more a month than what our mortgage payment would be, but it seems awful (and unlawful) for anyone to be paying rent to live in a garage. We don't want to be evil.