Landlord question - must keep tenants?

If you buy a rental property that current has existing tenants, are you obligated by law to keep them there? For example, if you have someone lined up that will lease-option the place. Can you kick out the existing tenants?


In most states, if they have a valid lease, you must honor it…if they are month-to-month, you can give them the required notice and have them vacate.


Howdy Immy:

Keep in mind too that just because they are supposed to move at the end of the notice that you give them that they may not move. Then you will have to file an eviction notice and maybe even go to court. Do not promise anyone a move-in date until the place is vacant. The existing tenants may want to do a lease purchase as well.

The previous posters are right in that you are obligated to keep them if they have a valid lease, and you can have them move after proper notice if they are month-to-month.

In my previous purchases of rental property, I try to find someplace that does have month-to-month tenants so I don’t have to keep them, then I make the sale contingent on having vacant property. That way it’s the seller’s responsibility to give them notice and get them out. It also makes them really motivated to make sure the tenants are out. The closing date will have to be delayed because of the time needed to give the proper notice and get them out, though. Then when you sign the papers and get the keys, you have nothing to worry about.

Great advice from everyone - thank you!