Attorn Details

People can easily transfer or alienate property from one owner to another if both parties follow all the legal procedures for the transfer. To attorn simply means to agree and accept this legal transfer. As a tenant of the land or the property—it may be a house or building—you attorn to the fact that the property has changed ownership, and you are now under a new master/landlord.

To legally transfer property from one owner to another, you would follow this process.

  1. The first step is to assess the property you want to acquire to estimate its cost and value.
  2. After you make the assessment, you approach the property owner and make a bid for the property to spark the negotiation process. This process might take a while before both of you agree on a price.
  3. It is only after you have agreed on the selling price that you can officially make the payment.
  4. Request the legal documents that prove the property has been transferred to you. Some of these legal documents include the transfer of ownership documents and the original title deed of the land/property. The title deed represents the key to the property.

After you have followed this whole process, you can finally consider the property yours. This is assuming that you have legal proof that shows you are the new owner. The tenants of your newly acquired property have to accept the fact that you are the new owner of the property and decide whether they will continue being tenants under your ownership or not. If the tenants decide to continue being tenants under your ownership, they have given you the consent that you are their new owner. This consent is what is referred to as attorn.

Example of Attorn

Imagine that you are a successful and influential business person who has been in the industry for a few years. It has worked out really well for you. Your business has grown and expanded, and you have even used the money that you have raised to start other side businesses. Then, after careful consideration, you invest in some real estate that might also help boost your income.

You identify a highrise flat with multiple apartments in a nearby urban center, all of which have tenants, including some of who have resided there their whole lives. You hire a professional to conduct an assessment of the building. His assessment is around the range that you had first expected. Now, you arrange a meeting with the owner to make an official bid for the property and initiate the negotiation process. Finally, after having agreed on the payments, you make the payment in full, and he legally transfers ownership to you.

You issue a notice to the tenants that the ownership has changed, and they are now under a new owner. You also mention that it doesn't change anything; everything will still operate as it had been before you took over. It is up to the tenants to make up their minds whether they want to continue being tenants in the apartments or not. As expected, most of them agree to continue being tenants even after the change of ownership. This shows that they have given you consent and have accepted you as their new landlord—they attorn.