New Owner letter/New Lease/Increase in Rents

I will be purchasing a duplex and want to get any pertinent information to the tenants. I also will be having them sign a month to month lease (the current owner doesn’t have a lease with these people or anything in writing for that matter!).

I also will be increasing their rent at the first of the year. Does that seem like a logical time if I take possession in Sept.?

If any of you have written similar letters for your tenants (new owner, copy of the month to month lease, and what info to cover in the letter) I would be interested in a copy of this letter to use as a guide for my letter.

I’d also be interested in a – your rent is going up letter.

Thank you!

Is there a reason you want a month to month lease?

I’m told it’s easier to evict with a month to month lease.

What state are you in?


You may want to check with your local and state laws but in general it makes no difference if the lease is month to month or annually lease when it comes to evictions. There may be a difference if the lease is too long (2 years or more) but the eviction laws apply the same regardless of the length and even if there is no lease.

I want to lock my tenants in as long as I can so I prefer 12 month leases. That puts me out of having to worry about getting new tenants for that 12 month period.

What I would do is send all my tenants a letter stating that I am the new owner and that my policy is for every tenant to have a 12 month lease. This is a requirement in order to stay. After about a week I would take the lease to each tenant explain each page and have them sign it. Any tenant that does not sign it will get a 30 day notice to vacate (check with your local laws). I would prefer to have new tenants following my policy than adjusting to them. Remember that this is a behaviour modification business. You have to teach them how to be one of YOUR tenants. What they can do across the street is not what you put up with. Things like you charge late fees every time and you start eviction proceedings on time every time regardless of any communication…every time. If they call you to say that the rent will be late say OK the late fees will apply and if they don’t pay by the legally specified days late start the evictions process. You can always stop the process but you can’t get days you missed back. Also getting a letter from the country justice of the peace puts a new light on your seriousness.

You are a new sheriff in town and they are going to try to test you. Either they are going to train you or you are going to train them.

You may have seen me post on here about how I like M2M leases because it’s easier to get rid of someone. My opinion on that has nothing to do with someone not paying rent. You can evict someone for non-payment of rent during month 1 of a 24 month lease. Many states have different timeframes for eviction based on whether it’s for non-payment of rent or for some other lease violation (having unauthorized pets on the premises, other people living there not on the lease, etc.).

What I mean about M2M leases being easier to get rid of people is in regards to a tenant that’s just a pain in your butt. It could be someone that calls to complain about everything (even things not in your control), is just generally mean to you, etc. You can’t evict someone for being a butthole, but you can absolutely send them a 30 day notice of lease termination (as long as that’s the required notice in your area). Yes, I understand why most people want to lock someone into a lease for a year and we have to do that for our Sect 8 tenants, but one advantage to the shorter lease is to be able to let people go for any reason you want.

I recently had a tenant who was just being a real witch to me (and had been on several occasions) and I’d had enough of it. I was traveling at the time when I got a nasty text from her. I just had my wife respond with “Consider this your 30 day notice of lease termination.” I was going to follow up with a formal letter when I returned home, but the tenant and her bf started calling with pleas to not put her out. So I ended up going over there and having the “talk” with her… I told her the next time she thought she wanted to be nasty to me or my wife, she should just consider that as her begging to be kicked out. I wasn’t going to put up with one more situation with her. She’s since been over nice anytime she needs something. It’s probably killing her to do so, but she’s still there until she acts up again. As Bluemoon said, you have to train them. It’s amazing how some people will fold when you stand up to them.

To answer your other question about raising the rent… Our lease states that after the initial lease term is up, the lease converts to a normal M2M lease with all aspects and agreements in the lease in-tact. I also say the landlord reserves the right to renegotiate the rent at any time during the M2M period. Most places require a 30 day notice to raise the rent (and if it’s less than that, a one month notice is still a good common courtesy to let someone know they have to pay you more). Most of the time I just raise the rent to where we want it after someone move’s out (either by their choice or eviction). The times where I’ve raised it on tenants still in the property - I just send a business letter stating “As of XXX, your rent will change to $XXX.”
I don’t jump it up a bunch all at once. Just the way I do things…