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Assuming management of Mother's rental

My husband and I are assuming the ownership and management of my mother's rental property. She has been very lax over the last 15 years with her tenants, i.e. zero inspections, no formal lease, etc. Is there any way to encourage the tenants to bring the property back to the original move-in condition without the benefit of formal documentation? I have noticed that they are cleaning up the property since I sent them a "notice of inspection" date three weeks. Maybe that will be enough. Once the property has been formally transferred, I will try to get them to sign a formal lease. Any advice is welcome. Thanks.

Definitely sign a legit rental agreement that follows Maryland's laws.  As for improving the rental property, you might try offering an incentive to the tenants to fix the place up.  A Best Buy gift card, a small discount on the rent, something like that, depending on how much work needs to be done.
I can't discount the rent because they were being charged less than 50% of market value all these years. I might consider the gift certificate to "Home Depot" idea as an incentive though. I will definately get them do complete a tenant application and sign a legitimate lease.
Well, I sent the tenants a Notice of Inspection three weeks in advance. Then, I followed up with a reminder that they received the day before the inspection appointment. The husband was quite cordial, but explained that his wife was angry because the letter had just arrived the day before. "How in the world were they supposed to do anything?" she cried. I thought three weeks notice and a reminder received 24 hours in advance was generous. I think most people would.   Anyway, Mr. Tenant told us while we were there that he hoped we would work with him because he told a friend of his that if they were going to pay that much rent, they may as well buy. He has "no credit" and his wife's credit is absolutely terrible, according to him. He is being advised by someone regarding how to rebuild his credit. The advisor told him to buy one of those pre-paid credit cards, charge something for $30 or $40 and then just pay it right off. Every time you do that, it goes on your credit score. So, that is what he is going to do.    I do not know how long it takes to build a strong credit history this way. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?
Do you want them out or are you tryng to keep them as tenants?  I believe if there is no formal lease it would be considered month to month rental and if you check your local area for how much notice you have to give you can just get them out fairly quickly. I was cofused  on the last part of your question as to why you care about how they build their credit if you really wanted someone else to rent. The question I would put to you is are you the landlord or their friend because the  two do not mix well. It is a buisness transaction so keep in mind what is in YOUR best interest and keep their drama out of your life.
Thank you, that is very good advice, as I believe that is the mistake my mother has made with her tenants all these years, "trying to be friends with her tenants instead of "Landlord".   My real reason for asking how long it might take someone to re-build a positive credit history is, I wondered how long before they could (even under the best circumstances) qualify to buy a home. I don't care if they stay, as long as they pay the rent and keep the place neat and clean.
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