Tenants rights, No written lease

5 Replies

Hello Bigger Pockets!! This is my first post and I am new to Real Estate investing!!  I'm looking to get started in buy and hold multi-family rentals.   

I live in Kentucky and a duplex just came onto the market in my area that I'm interested in. In the remarks it states, "Property for sale with subject to tenants rights.  Tenants do not have a written lease. Currently rented for $250.00 each side."

The property obviously needs a make over and the rent is far too low for me.  If I were to purchase it I would want to go in an renovate it and raise the appreciation and the rent.

What are my rights as a landlord in this situation? 


Depending on the laws in Kentucky and the local municipality, you could give the tenants a 60 day notice (could be as little as 30, check the local laws) to vacate the property.  Then you can rehab it and rent the units back out at market rates.

Some leases do not have an ending date, but require only that rent be paid weekly or monthly. These leases, used for "periodic tenancies," are automatically renewed every time the rent is collected. Either the landlord or tenant may end such rental agreements by giving the other written notice. In the case of a week-to-week tenancy, only seven days' notice is necessary, while at least thirty days is required under a month-to-month contract.

The "holdover tenancy" is one in which the lease has expired but the landlord allows the tenant to remain on the premises for an unspecified period of time. In this "holdover tenancy," no date of termination is set, and the holdover tenant is obligated to make rent payments as required under the original lease. The tenancy may be ended without notice if the rent becomes ten days overdue; if either the landlord or the tenant ends the tenancy for any other reason, ten days' written notice is required.

If the tenant remains in the dwelling unit without the landlord's consent after the lease has expired ("tenancy at sufferance"), the landlord may resort to legal action to force the tenant to move. If the court then rules in the landlord's favor, the landlord may collect up to three months' rent or three times the actual damages, whichever is greater (KRS 383.695).

Note: Any time the Act requires that notice be given either to the landlord or tenant, the notice should be in writing and a record of all correspondence should be kept. If the notice cannot be hand delivered and a written acknowledgment obtained by the receiving party, it should be mailed by certified or registered mail to guarantee its receipt (KRS 383.560).

This is a copy paste, not my writing.

CYA, Call your attorney. Get the info before you buy!

You may have a hard time getting rid of the existing tenant if they have been a long term tenant.

Don't enter into a no lease agreement. Put it on paper as a court will not honor a verbal contract. 

In your purchase deal, specify that the seller may not enter into any agreement with the tenants without your approval. You don't want a tenant-friendly seller signing a year lease right before you get the property.

Thanks guys for all the great information! I really appreciate the help!

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