Hello all, I have a legal question for a property I’ve acquired with inherited tenants in Brooklyn. The property is a 2 family and both tenants have been in the property for over 10 years with no form of a written lease which to my knowledge places them legally as month to month tenants. They are severely below market and my plan is to present them with a written month to month agreement with an increase to bring them closer to market rents. My question is if they refuse the increase do I still have the option to terminate the tenancy given any legal changes due to COVID, and if I do how much notice is required? I’d obviously prefer not to take that route considering the times but I’d like to know my options going in. Also if anyone has a good landlord-tenant lawyer recommendation it would also be appreciated as this is my first property in the city.
I am not sure about your area, but I would look into the Squatter rights. In some states, even if someone is living in a property illegally (trespassing) or illegitimately (without a signed lease) they may still have rights as a tenant and you have to give them adequate notice before terminating their residency. Again I am not sure about your area and cannot give any direct advice, but I believe you can give them a written notice to vacate should they refuse and they have 30 days to leave or you can start the formal eviction process. New York is weird so your COVID rules might be different than everywhere else.
For long term residents many localities require a 60 day notice. What you can do it give them a notice of rent increase in 60 days (or 30 if your area allows that). Then later offer them a 3 month or 6 month month lease agreement, with the same date from the 60 day time frame for the increase. That way the increase is already noticed and in effect. They do not have to agree to it. Otherwise some renters think that if they do not sign the lease they do not 'agree' to the rent increase and do not have to pay it.