Long Term Leases Tenants and Owner Occupied Duplex

3 Replies

Hey everyone,

I am a newbie so go easy on me if this is old hat.  Quick question on whether a tenant lease can be broken if the property is acquired and the new owner wants to owner occupy.

For example, I buy a duplex using FHA financing that currently has two tenants with leases until August 2015. If I wanted to owner occupy (which I must), is there any way to remove one of the tenants legally? Is there a way to bypass the lease agreement?

If location makes the difference, my question pertains to Charleston, SC.

Thank you!!

@Patrick Bross  

Check your state tenant laws, but in most jurisdictions a tenant lease can be terminated if the buyer, or an immediate family member, intends to make the property their primary residence.

I don't believe there is any way to forcibly push the tenants out if they are in accordance with the terms of their lease.   They have "tenants rights" which survive the sale of the property.    However, you can offer to buy them out of their lease if you don't find that to be too cost prohibitive.   You would usually have to offer them at least one month's rent for wherever they would be moving to and moving expenses to boot.

@Patrick Bross  

I just scanned the SC Landlord and Tenants Act an @John Semanchuk  is correct, there does not appear to be provision for the landlord to take possession of the property for the purpose of inhabiting it.   I've tried looking else where but found nothing which would indicate the Buyer of a rental property in South Carolina can request it to be delivered vacant.

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