Buying a commercial property at auction, and changing the locks

If you guys buy a commercial property at auction, and are issued a deed (but note it will take several days to a week to be formally filed with the county - but you own it free & clear legally per the deed and have a copy of it in hand)…

…can you change the locks on the existing commercial tenant, and lock them out, to prevent them from removing property from the premises?

In Texas commercial tenants have almost no rights, based on what I have seen. E.G. You don’t pay your mini storage rent, it’s auctioned off for pennies on the dollar. Also if you don’t pay your commercial lease rent, the landlord can change the locks and keep everything inside! However residential tenants do have some rights (unfortunately). LOL. But anyway I need some clarification. Thanks


 OK, when you buy the property you are only entitled to actions from your date of purchase! If a tenant has refused to pay on there lease because they knew the property was being foreclosed on and you buy it, you are only entitled to the eviction process for missed payments to you and not for actions between tenant and previous landlord.

If you acquired the property through a foreclosure auction then the tenant (Business) is entitled to continue paying payments to new owner according to the terms and conditions of the original lease as the current tenant is a innocent party to the foreclosure, and sub-seeding purchase of a new owner, and may have a large investment in the build out, signage and creating a community image required to do business in that location.

If the tenant did not have a lease then they are entitled to 90 days to get out under the federal foreclosure laws for commercial tenants. (You must serve the tenant the 90 day written request to vacate property)

Once your purchase records you as new owner, you have the legal responsibility to present proof of ownership and a request that tenant resumes payments under the original lease, and in the case that buyer was not supplied copies of lease’s at sale, a copy of tenants lease should be requested from tenant?

If you try to lock out tenant without due cause in Texas, I hope you were filthy rich, as you won’t be once the courts get through with you! You can only lock a commercial tenant out of a property under court order in Texas! Go read the state code?

You are highly mis-informed if you believe a commercial property tenant has no legal rights in Texas!

You know you had better be glad there are laws to protect you as a real estate investor and on the other hand don’t be in such a hurry to take away someone else’s rights as that’s what gets you in trouble.

Now if you bought the property at a regular property auction Texas may have statutes requiring honoring the terms and conditions of the existing lease?

You are also responsible to go after the previous owner in court to recover on behalf of all the tenants and have on deposit there original security deposit’s!

Good luck,


It is owner occupied, not renter occupied. I will run it by a real estate lawyer to make sure what my options are — if I get it. Thanks!

I just did this a few months ago here. There were owner occupied after auction in a commercial property. In NC, you have to file whats called a “holdover” eviction. They become month to month tenants by default since there is no lease.

But the correct answer is talk to a good local RE lawyer. Every state and even county is different i’m sure.