Removing Long Term Older Inherited Tenants

47 Replies

Hey guys, I'm 23 and closing in on officially purchasing my first rental property, just finished inspections this week. The property is a 4plex in a great part of my town. Two of the units are currently rented to LONG term tenants 9 and 30 years! They're also paying well below market rent $550 vs $900. I had the opportunity of meeting them while I was following along with inspections and talked a bit.

The 2 tenants are both older women around 65 years old and really nice. Both their husbands passed away in the past few years, I saw O2 tanks and walkers in the units, and overall just a sad situation that makes you feel grateful. I don't know their financial situation but my guess is they can just get by paying the $550 rent. The one women couldn't have been nicer and even told me she hopes I buy the building and become her landlord because I seemed nice and responsible. 

My end goal is to remove them so I can rehab their units and get them up to market rent. I know if anyone else buys this building they would just serve them a 30-day notice and move on. I couldn't do that to them right off the bat and would feel horrible doing so. I'm willing to work with them and in my head give them up to a year to move out and even offer to move all their stuff for them. I do understand that this is a business and I'm not getting into it to house people for free but at the end of the day their still people and just want to handle it the best possible way for everyone

I know I just have to have an uncomfortable talk with them but just wanted to see how you guys would handle this. 

Thanks in advance!

@Eric Weldon-Schilling I'm just trying to see how other people would handle this and I'm trying to be really good about it. I think anyone else coming into the property would immediately kick them out. My numbers work to where I can have the other 2 units rented have still have them there but my end goal would be to have them transition out of the property on there terms. So what would you do in this situation just keep them at the price where there at or would you ask to increase the rent a little bit?

Hi Tyler, This is definitely a tough situation, you don't want to be the heartless landlord, but it's also important to treat it like a business. Maybe preface the talk by seeing how they like living there, and asking if they may like living somewhere else more. If they want to move closer to family or something, then you can offer to help with the whole process from finding a new place to moving them yourself or hiring a moving company. This is the idea that just immediately came to mind. I hope it helps

@Justin Woodard appreciate your ideas! Definitely while this is a tough situation I'm glad I'll be getting this property so I can at least figure out what's best for both of us vs someone else coming in and giving them 30 days right off the bat. Definitely not going to be heartless and might even end up letting them stay with the price their at but offer to help them move if they wanted too

Tyer, you can ignore people like Eric. I wonder if he yells at grocery stores for raising the price of eggs and bacon over the last 30 years instead of keeping things affordable for little old ladies? Or maybe he would like to insult the local car dealer for charging $17,000 for a used sedan when this little lady paid $6,000 for her last one in 1989. Seriously.

You're buying a property that is under-performing. That's part of making a wise investment. Treat it like a business, but don't be an a-hole about it and kick them on the streets with just 30 days notice. Notify both tenants as early as possible. Explain that you are an investor but the investment only works if you rent at market rate. Give them 90 days to find alternative living arrangements and then stick to it, period. That should be sufficient for them to find income-based housing, a family member, or whatever. If they are half-way intelligent, they will look for alternative housing and see that rates have gone up since 1996 and they've been getting off easy for a long, long time.

I personally prefer to keep the notice short, professional, and without justification, excuse, apology, etc. You're running a business and they can either afford your product or not.

@Nathan G. Really appreciate the response and the comment about Eric haha, I like your idea. Think I have to figure out how to phrase everything in my head and after close just have the talk with them. Thanks for your time Nathan!

Originally posted by @Tyler Tacy :

@Nathan G. Really appreciate the response and the comment about Eric haha, I like your idea. Think I have to figure out how to phrase everything in my head and after close just have the talk with them. Thanks for your time Nathan!


Tyler, I probably wasn't clear enough. I would not "talk" with the tenants. That's a common mistake with Landlords and Property Managers because emotions come into play and you're far more likely to deviate from your plan. A short, professional letter is sufficient and safer.

Its stories like this that give landlords the bad rap and have people with pitchforks coming for us. You can try to make yourself feel as good about yourself as you like. But you know that two elderly women living on a fixed income can't afford much higher rent. You knew that when you bought the building and probably got a good deal on it as a result. Your entire plan for making a killing rests on evicting these women and raising the rent to market rates. You also know that they will be unable to find equivalent housing elsewhere at a similar price. Now none of this is technically your problem but you became responsible when you bought the place. Do whatever lets you sleep at night but I don't think you can come out smelling like roses if you make them leave.