Inheriting Tenants With No Leases

6 Replies

I have a 6 unit multi family property under contract as of this morning and just found out that there are no leases. This is my first deal and I’m shocked to say the least. However, I know there are pros and cons to this situation. Pros being that I can give the 30 days notice to any undesirable tenant the day of closing. However, with one apartment already vacant that will be completely renovated after closing, I don’t want another vacant apartment. The current rent roll the sellers provided to me twice never matched with what 2 of the tenants told me they were paying so on the positive side, I will have leases ready to go on the day of closing with rent at current market value. Two of the tenants have been there 10 years so I don’t anticipate them leaving over an extra $50/month. This does add extra layer of stress and concern but the more I think about it, the more I’m coming around to the idea that this could potentially be a good thing. Has anyone else been in a similar situation when purchasing a smaller multi family property? How did it turn out for you?

You should get everyone to sign tenant estoppel forms so you know for sure what the rent they are paying is.  If it were in CA you would have the same time lag as normal to raise the rents to market rates or get the tenants out 30-60 days depending on various factors.

I like inheriting tenants on short term leases. It gives you greater flexibility from the start. Also, if you live in an area that is easy to rent and you have an active tenant pool, it is easy to fill them.


If you are in a college town and rent to students, a longer term lease may be better. Not sure if you are renting to DePauw students or if it is market rate apartments, but for the most part, we like having tenants on shorter term leases when taking over a property.

@John Lenhart I just saw your response. Thank you for responding! DePauw students are actually required to live on campus so I won't be renting to students. Two units are rented to an older couple and and an older individual.  The other 3 occupied units are rented to younger individuals.  The more I've thought about it, the more I'm liking the situation. I'm hoping to close around the 25th of July so I can can give the tenants 30 days notice to either sign a month-to-month lease with rents at market value effective September 1 or to vacate by August 31. I just hope the building doesn't clear out since rents will be increasing slightly for 4 out of the 5 occupied apartments. I don't anticipate that happening but it's still a concern.

one thing you may consider doing is staggering your leases when you take over. For example, make half of them sign the lease the first month and the other half in Month two. This way, you won’t risk the whole building moving out all at once and you can assess what things look like after the first half receives their new leases