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Leasehold Interest Related Questions

A leasehold interest is a claim or a right to the exclusive possession and use of a property or asset for a specified period as stated in a written lease. A long-term lease interest is looked upon as a valuable asset, in its own right, that can be traded or mortgaged as a physical asset.

Listed below are a few questions answered by real estate lawyers on leasehold interest related issues.

What is meant by “leasehold interest"?

More Details: I thought I was buying a property in Baltimore with a balloon note. Six months later, I have a deed and paper that says; "Witnesseth; that in consideration of the sum of $49,000 (the purchase price), the said party of the first part does grant and assign to the said Valued Properties (me) as it's successors and/or assigns, the leasehold interest in all that piece or parcel of land situated in Baltimore City, Maryland and described as follows, to wit".

A leasehold interest simply means that this interest you are purchasing is the right to a lease. What you probably have is a house that sits on land that is owned by someone else that is being leased from the land owner. You would need to find out from the title company the exact nature of the title you are getting. From what you have said it doesn’t seem like you are buying a fee simple title which is probably what you want.

In Pennsylvania, do both owners of a property have to sign a residential lease?

They would have to. If they don’t, the tenant will not get a 100% leasehold interest in the property. Instead, he/she will only have a 50% leasehold interest in the property.

I want to buy a tax deed sale at the county tax deed sale auction in Orange County, Florida. If I am the winning bidder, would I be responsible for the liens on the property? Can I also get immediate possession of the place even if there are tenants?

A tax deed sale should remove any mortgage liens on the property but you should still be responsible for any unpaid municipal utilities. You would probably need to legally evict the tenants, but if they have a leasehold interest, it would be wiped out by a tax deed sale.

I rented a lot to a person without a lease, who in turn rented it out to someone else with a mobile home. I now want to move back and put a mobile home on the lot. The renter has informed me that he has already signed a year’s lease with the HUD. Could he have done this without the property owner's knowledge?

To begin with, you need to understand that this person has successfully managed to scam HUD.

A renter who does not possess a property title, or does not have the permission of the property owner to act on his/her behalf, is not allowed to sign any kind of property agreement that will legally bind the rightful owner or the property to it. This person may have entered into a lease agreement with HUD but he can only offer what he legally has a right to. Based on the facts of this case, he has no right to a legal claim over the property and therefore cannot convey any leasehold interest to th HUD. Also, he didn’t sign a lease with the owner so there would be no question of a leasehold interest arising without having something in writing.

You should get in touch with HUD and find out the name of the person at the HUD office who worked with your renter on the lease. Once you get this information, let him/her know immediately that you have rights over the property as the rightful owner and not the renter he/she was dealing with. Also, inform them it has just come to your notice that a lease for your property has been signed with HUD, without your knowledge, and no one other than you has the authority to do this. Therefore, you cannot be bound to any lease agreement that has been made.

You also need to make it clear that the renter is a scam artist, he had no right to give HUD anything he had no claim over, and all payments to this renter should immediately be stopped by HUD.

Put all this information into a letter to be sent by certified mail and request a return receipt. Also, have a copy of the letter sent by regular mail and save a copy for your files. Add your contact details in the letter and request HUD to contact you within ten days of having received the letter so you can decide the best way of handling your renter and discuss the next steps together.

Finally, also write to your renter and ask him to cease and desist holding himself out as the rightful owner of the property. Demand that all the money received from HUD be paid to you, failing which you will sue him in Small Claims Court.

For investors who are cash flow sensitive, buying leasehold interests can be a smart way to invest in real estate. Once you buy a long-term lease, you get control of the land and can rent it out to a third person at a profit. Although a part of your rent will go to the owner, you still receive a cash return that is twenty to thirty percent higher than that of a property owned the traditional way.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5379
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
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5 Real Estate Lawyers are Online Now

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Real Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4813
16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Law Pro
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6227
20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Barrister
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4966
13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years

Recent Leasehold Interest Questions

  • If a home is titled in the name of a revocable trust, is it

    If a home is titled in the name of a revocable trust, is it in or out of the estate of the grantor? So, for example, if the grantor became subject to a judgment 25 years after the home was put into the trust, would the trust be vulnerable to the judgment creditor such that the home could be executed on?
  • A now x husband and I acquired property as teneants by entireties.

    A now x husband and I acquired property as teneants by entireties. We sold the property Contract for Deed in 2010. We went our separate ways in '11, he presented me w/a handwritten note in 2012 to take an early buy-out under the Contract w/the buyer for his said half of the property, w/the remaining balance to stay in Contract w/me. He wrote 2/11/2012 he had no more claims to the property or money owed me, it would not interrupt the pmts owed me of a balance he and the buyer determined from an amortization schedule. Only he, the x signed the handwritten piece of ppr and had it notarized. I was not aware of this transaction until it was personally handed to me by him. We had lived in a Common Law Marriage State yrs prior to the property purchase. One atty told me he could do what he did, so I simply took the pmts. I could not cash one of the pmts for 12 days in Aug., at which time I also discovered the taxes had not been pd since '11, one piece of the property had been sold in a tax lien. I straightened everything out monetarily, then consulted an atty. The x didn't ever take his name off the property, so I didn't ever receive notice of taxes due. This atty advised me to cash no more chks from the buyer, including the still not pd in full tax chks he sent me when I informed the buyer of delinquency. The atty I hired stated, "Let's get you divorced first, then we'll take care of the property." I gave the atty money upfront for both, he only proceeded in a divorce decree on a default, the property is now in my name, but he filed a formal Motion to Withdraw, however he did not return any funds and even tho' he filed his Motion to Withdraw the same day (it's dated) he recorded the divorce decree telling me we would wait until after the New Year to deal w/the property. I asked him outside the courthouse, "Should I cash the chks or continue to keep them?" He said, "Don't cash them..." Referencing if I were to do so, it would appear I am consenting to the Contract for Deed. So my questions: What I've read, the x couldn't sell his half (as he determined) because of teneants of entireties w/o my consent and signature, was what he and the buyer did illegal. And, the atty knowing he was withdrawing, the property now mine, yet still told me 'not' to cash the chks a rnd about way of telling me the Contract for Deed is void? His reason behind withdraw "...an obscure and little used court rule that allows someone to reactivate a case merely by mailing a petition to a Party's atty of record, and thereby eliminating the need to serve process... clever little trick to exploit a technicality... just some housekeeping to protect both of us." I didn't know I need protection.
  • Subject: Re: Questions on Real Estate and Closing The house

    Subject: Re: Questions on Real Estate and Closing
    The house we want to purchase is on 30 acres and the sales price $265,000 the realtor said they would take $165,000 down which we would put on a first mortgage (conventional financing) and finance the $100,000 with a first lien against our home in Florida (that appraised for $150k paid off) with 3% interest the first year and 4% for the second with payoff due by the second year.
    Would the typical contract written with these terms usually be:
    $265,000 Total price
    $100,000 Down Equity
    $165,000 owed at closing with interest payments on $100,000 to start ______ Date.
    Is that how you would perceive the contract to be written and do you think a bank would show this as $100,000 down? surpassing the 20% down and therefore probably no extra insurance would be needed saving us the extra mortgage insurance?
    Before I close with the bank could I section off the 30 acres and put 20 acres on the loan amount and somehow keep 10 acres separate? Is that difficult to do?
    How do we keep a property looking like we paid 0 on the books if we financed over 1/2 - is that possible?
    My Fiance / Wife has a stalker, how do we make the registration or books at the appraiser or zoning etc. to keep our names off and keep private?
    Would a corporation do this, or how about a corporation within a corporation? Or a trust?
    Would it most likely be taken out of these to get the loan from the bank and is that registered at the courthouse?
    How much do you charge to look over a real estate contract and make any changes needed?
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