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I visited some apartments about two months ago, and one of them had a tenant already living there (who wasn't home when the broker showed me the place).
For me, unlike a lot of people, an apartment with a tenant already in it is the ideal situation, because I'm not living in NYC but plan to come back in 2-3 years or so.
What I really need to know is how long the current tenant plans to stay in the apartment. The co-op board won't allow sublets longer than 5 years (or so), so it's not like a rent-stabilized person who will never leave. But if they're leaving, say, in three months, that would be a problem.
How do I get this information? Would it be some kind of breach (even one of etiquette) if I sent the current tenant a letter asking about this? After visiting, with the lived-in apartment in some disarray, I almost wanted to write some kind of thank-you note/apology -- "sorry about the agent and I into your apartment when you weren't home; I know these open houses must be a hassle for you; don't worry, your apartment isn't a mess!" That kind of thing. Can or should I do that, and ask (by the way) how long the tenant plans to be there?
Why not ask the broker for a copy of the lease?
I had been thinking that leases can be renewed, or terminated early, and I'd much rather find out the person's intention so that the potential handover can proceed smoothly.
But I might just do that!
My Coop and it seems pretty normal for most, require you to own your apartment before allowing you to sublet. My building requires you own it (and in theory occupy it) for 2 years then you can sublet up to a max of 5 years.
I know that's the general rule, but when someone sells a co-op with a renter living in it, surely that person doesn't get booted out the moment the buyer takes possession just because the new buyer hasn't lived there for two years, right?
the tenant gets booted out and you're suppose to live there. coops usually require you to live there for 1-2 yrs before you can rent it out for say 1 yr if they even allow it, and you can only do this once before you have to live there for another 1-2 yrs. simple advise, if you're look at a coop as an investment property, DONT. get a condo which has more flexible subletting.
why not just buy when you are actually ready to move? Why deal with the hassle?