Wholesaling Properties When Tenants Won’t Let You Inspect
An issue for wholesaling and investing in properties that appears to be becoming more common is not being able to get access to units to inspect them. Why do tenants play these games and what can you do about it?
Not being able to access a home or individual apartment units brings all sorts of potential problems from not being able to get insurance to buying a property with a bomb factory in the basement to finding out that the previous seller lied about rents or even not being able to resell and turnover properties for profit.
When wholesaling properties this can occur at various stages of the game from initially trying to view the property, after going to contract, for the closing day walkthrough or for the new buyer that wants to check out the merchandise first.
There can be multiple reasons why this situation arises. Sometimes it can be a sign of a scam. Perhaps the seller isn’t the real owner, they lied about how much tenants are paying or that they have been paying or the seller has been hiding serious damage. If they tell you that you have to break in to be able to view it; that’s a huge red flag.
In other cases it’s just a tenant issue. Maybe they just really love their privacy, don’t want you to discover damages and charge them, they haven’t been paying rent, think you are going to try and kick them out, are hiding a meth lab or worse or just don’t believe you are who you say you are.
So what can you do?
Even if you don’t have a signed lease, once you are owner you have a right to enter at a reasonable time, or if there is an ‘emergency’.
However, you obviously should probably never buy unless you inspect first or are willing to accept the consequences and worst case scenario.
Some investors jump right to evictions or racking up lawyer fees when these situations arise, though are often some reasonable and more affordable alternatives.
Start with having your paperwork straight and ID handy to prove you are legit, and don’t force your way in unless you are really ready for anything.
Then give them as much notice as possible and work with them to arrange a convenient time for them. Assure them that you have no bad intentions, and it may even be in their best interest to let you in as it could result in improvements being made for them.
Still not working? Ask them to leave or let them know you will have to take action. Maybe you can get local law enforcement to go with you, maybe you can change the locks and put their belongings outside if they are there illegally (depending on your state law) or maybe offer them cash to leave as a last resort before spending on an official eviction.
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