Estoppels are a major part of a Buyer's due diligence when purchasing a property with residential or commercial tenants. Put very simply, an estoppel certificate is an agreement between tenant and owner as to what the current terms of the tenancy are. It is common that a tenant signs a lease when they move in, but after years of living in one place, the rent changes, people come and go from the unit, and much more. An estoppel summarizes many aspects of the tenancy, so that a Buyer can enforce the sometimes undocumented landlord tenant agreements that can occur over the years. And other times, there was no original lease, written rent increase notice, and/or documents have been lost or misplaced. An estoppel clarifies everything, and protects all parties - both tenants, owner, and future owners.

After years being frustrated that different estoppel templates were missing key information, I have created my own template with the help of my friend and real estate attorney Anthony Marinaccio. Below is a photo of the template, just click below the photo to download a PDF copy for yourself. You can fill in the information on your computer using PDF, or print it and handwrite the information.

Usually, when I help a Seller fill out estoppels, I review the lease agreements, rent increase notices, etc and use that information to fill out the estoppels as much as possible. Then I review the info with the Seller to confirm it's correct and fill in any missing info. Then, I take the completed estoppel to the tenant, and review the information with the tenant. If there is a discrepancy or missing info (it is common to be missing old leases that indicate security deposits, move in dates, etc) I try to have tenant and owner agree on whatever we are missing documentation for, and then the Tenant signs the estoppel, and then the Seller. After it is fully executed, I usually try to give a copy to the tenant, so they can have a copy for their own files.

This particular form is helpful for anyone looking to clarify who is living in the unit, and also set the stage in the event that a future owner may want to offer relocation to the tenant, as it includes room to include all the occupants and their ages. Also, having contact info for tenants is vital for a smooth transition of ownership.

If you have questions about estoppel certificates, a tenant situation, or anything else real estate related, feel free to call me at 310-562-9630, or attorney Anthony Marinaccio of Marinaccio Law at 818-839-5220.

Download • 62KB

Updated: Jan 6

Southern California and Los Angeles are constantly changing. Neighborhoods transition, retail, and multifamily development evolves main streets, large corporations and employers move into an area and drive further speculation, demographics shift, and more. The same way that tenant profiles change over time, so do ownership profiles. Smaller, under 50 unit buildings used to be primarily owned in Los Angeles by individuals and families who held assets long term and valued low vacancy and low debt. The demographic and investment goals of the average apartment Buyer today look much different than they did 15 years ago. There has also been a rise in a new type of ownership group. This shift towards investing with OPM (Other People's Money) - coupled with aging housing stock that has been minimally maintained due to rent control, has necessitated a more aggressive Buyer style (depending on the type of Building and location). This has been beneficial for many Sellers who have been able to sell their buildings based on future value rather than current rents. Different types of Buyers aspire to purchase different types of buildings. I have relationships with all types of Buyers and know how to find the Buyer that will pay the most for your property.


Investment funds have become popular in recent years, as they pool investments (usually $100K+) from individuals and purchase mostly "value add" buildings which they reposition, often promising a return of 10%+. This usually involves vacating the building by relocating all tenants, fully rehabbing inside and out, then renting to extremely high paying tenants. Because these groups must have extensive financials and accountability to investors, they do detailed due diligence and obtain multiple inspection reports. Often they ask to negotiate tenant buy-outs during escrow. They have the ability to close all cash but may prefer to finance. They have at least 1-3+ people on full-time staff, so their business plan requires them to purchase 6-24 buildings per year. Hold time varies from 12 months - 5+ years.

(Photo is 1306 Waterloo St, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Sold in March 2020 by Dana Coronado)


Often own 2-15 buildings in their portfolio, sometimes they invest within their immediate family, other times they pool money between friends and extended family. They make decisions based on their experience, intuition, and rely less on projections and financial models. Often they like to concentrate their buildings in a geographic area to facilitate easier management and economies of scale. Probably self manage and can pay cash or may finance if costs are low. Plan to build generational wealth and hold long term. Purchases all property types.

(Photo is 1167 Bellevue Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Sold in June 2017 by Dana Coronado)


Similar to family partners. May own 1-10+ properties. Could be buying cash or may need a loan. Level of sophistication as a Buyer will depend on the number of properties owned, other types of investments owned, net worth, source of capital, etc. Can be a "mom & pop" or starting to build a real estate portfolio using cash from non-real estate sources. Purchases all property types.

Have questions? Not sure where your building falls or what type of property is right for your next acquisition? I'd love to chat with you in-depth about it. Give me a call at 310-562-9630.

Download • 213KB

Call Me Today!

Tel: 310.562.9630 


DRE #: 01746702

Let's Connect!

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • LinkedIn - Black Circle