Looking to buy and house hack a duplex currently occupied.

9 Replies

So I'm looking to buy a duplex to house hack. Only problem is, everything in my area is already occupied. If I were to purchase the property, are the current tenants required to vacate? What are the laws regarding this? What can be done to vacate one or both of the units, so that I can move into one? Need to know before I sell my current home. Thank you in advance!

You can buy it as owner occupied and request the seller have at least one side or both vacant by closing. That's pretty common. The sale is still an allowed reason for eviction in Oregon, they just have to give them the required days notice. I think it is 30 days outside of Portland. So the seller won't usually give them notice until they have an accepted offer.

sounds like a good plan, good luck!

@Nels Norquist thank you for the response! Great information. Very helpful! Just to be clear. You said the sell is still an acceptable reason for eviction. Meaning no matter what the lease is (1, 6, 12 months) it could still be terminated at the time of the sale? Given the notice of coure.

@Brandon Brown , some leases allow for termination of the lease with a sale. However some do not. So, it depends on the lease.

I would ask the listing agent when the current leases end and if the units can be made vacant for closing even before looking at the homes since this is a deal breaker for you.

Also, consider looking at properties that need more work. In any market there should be some fixers that are not in livable condition. Those should be vacant. 

@Kevin Sobilo that's a good idea! I will definitely have my agent check all the leases and make sure it can be vacant before closing. I would love to find something unlivable/vacant like you mentioned. However, I am also moving my family into it. We want something we can at least live with for a while. Do some moderate upgrades, and save for the next investment. Thanks for the input!

There aren't many vacant multi families in oregon, even in central oregon I would guess. You should find most leases turn month to month after the first year in our area. If they have been living there for under a year then the notice is longer

@Brandon Brown google and read SB608. Selling to an owner occupied buyer is a "qualifying landlord reason" to terminate a residency. It requires 90 days notice, certain minimal language and requirements above and beyond a typical residency termination notice, one months paid rent at time of notice. A tenant will have their right to live out their lease, so if it's more than 90 days you'll be waiting more than 90 days to occupy. It's probably a good idea to fully understand the law before you sell your residence. 

You shouldn't be counting on any landlord trying to end a lease early for cause during a sale. Tenants rights in most states far outweigh landlord's right especially when it comes to eviction. If you are looking to buy and all of the units are occupied, find out which units are on month-to-month leases and as said above, request as part of the sale, that a unit or both units be vacant at closing. It's much easier to evict a month-to-month tenant with 30-day notice.

One thing to note though. If you are buying and moving in to house hack and you evict one tenant, your remaining tenant may find that unreasonable and worry about their tenancy. It seems like rentals go quick where you are so you wouldn't have trouble renting again if they left, but it's something to note. Also, what if the tenants in the building are close. All things to consider.