month to month tenants

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Good morning Everyone,

I am looking to buy a 4 unit piece of property that is fully occupied at the current time by tenants who are all month to month.  I believe the property can use some work and renovations as well as an increase in rent.  

I know that it is legal, but is there a problem with me telling the tenants right off the bat that they need to sign a lease agreement? The current tenants are all paying cash and I am sure that their relationship with the current landlord is a bit flimsy (ie. late payments).  I do foresee a problem with these tenants giving me a hard time with the changes that I am looking to make (rent increase, payment via check, late fees, and lease agreement). 

Any suggestions on how to handle this? I want to start off properly and systematically even if that means dealing with vacancy in the beginning.

thank you!

@Nick Spacavento You need to honor any existing leases, that includes month to month or even verbal. You need to give notice required by your state usually 30-60 days. In MD that means they have 30-60  days after the current month expires. An example would be If the lease ends the first and you give notice on the 15th  it is actually 45-75 days.

Of course if they are willing they can sign a new lease anytime.

but is there a problem with me telling the tenants right off the bat

Well yes, you described some of the potential problems yourself.  Some of it will be your people skills and how you present it.