Taking over a duplex

9 Replies

I am closing on a duplex soon.  Duplex is occupied.

One renter has a lease in place.  

One renter is on a month to month lease.  I want make this a one year lease.

How do I communicate with these renters that I've purchased the property?  Phone call?  Letter? In Person?

I know its such a basic question.  Help.

Hi, Are you local? Who is doing your property management? The previous owners should have shared the tenants contact info at closing, if not before. I would call and introduce myself as the new property manager. Let the renter with the lease know that your company is going to honor it (you legally have to, but lots of people don't know that). Tell the others that you want to get them set up with a lease (if that is true- are they tenants you want to keep?). Set up a time to do an inspection and let them show you the annoying things they have been meaning to tell the previous owner. And if you haven't read Mike Butler's book on landlording, that might be worth doing (I have no financial relationship with the man, just like his book). Hope that helps!

Absolutely have the property manager do a walk-through appointment with the tenant. First send a welcome letter and make a phone call to let them know that the home is under new management, and let the tenant know how to pay rent and report work orders.  Take a good look at the tenant ledger to make sure the tenant pays on time.  If you choose not to keep the tenant, give a 30 day notice.  If there are renovations that you want to do before you re-rent and refinance, this is the time to do it! 

The above two have it covered and I concur. I usually post a "welcome letter" with my contact info and my intent to schedule a walk-through, get a state of the unit/do the "move-in inspection." This letter also allows you to set a tone and set some early boundaries and ground rules (I do not allow tenants to text me for example - and state that in my welcome letter "Office Hours are M-F 9-5, Ph: XXX-XXX-XXXX Do not text"). Their response to this letter will also give you an indication of them as tenants and you can proceed thusly.

Thanks for the good inputs!  I also will soon be closing on my first rental.  A duplex that is fully rented and both units are under lease.  The welcome letter with contact info is something I will be doing.  

The tenants were there when I viewed the property.  Can I still pass myself off as the property manager rather than the landlord?  

I went to the property directly after I closed and told the tenants I purchased the property and gave them leases. They were there when I first saw the home and when I did the inspection. There were on a verbal month to month because the upper was there 30 years and the lower was there 20 years. I gave them leases to sign that were effective August 1 because I closed in June so at least a full month notice. 


I would like to hear how your situation goes. My tenants are a little upset because they were paying way below market rent and the property needs work so I told them rents are increasing and the upper seems to be taking it as a vendetta because she wants to start demanding things since I am demanding more rent from her than the past 3 owners did a month.