How many days notice do we have to give our tenants when selling the property?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How many days notice do we have to give our tenants when selling the property?

I inherited a duplex 6 months ago, but the tenant has been living in one side for
over a year. Since I’ve only officially owned it for 6 months can I give him 30
day notice to move out if I sell it. Or do I need to give him 90 days notice
since he has lived there for over a year?

Asked on July 11, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If there is a written lease for a set or defined period of time (e.g. a one-year lease) which is not expired and currently in effect, you cannot make them move out prior to the lease being up: when you inherited the duplex, you inherited what it was, which is a property with a tenant with a lease, and you are as bound to the terms of the lease as if you had signed it with the tenants. Looking to sell the home is also not grounds to terminate a lease early. You don't have to renew the lease, and can now give them notice that you will not renew and that they'll need to leave when the lease is up.
If there is an expired written lease, a written "month to month" lease, or no written lease (i.e. an "oral" or unwritten rental agreement), they are month to month tenants. In that case, you can give them a full month's (not 30 days; at least one full month, since month to month tenancies start on the 1st of a month and end on the last day) notice terminating the tenancy and that they have to move out. Example: today is July 12: you could give them notice today to move out Sept. 1, since they have to get at least one entire full month (August, since July is already more than 1/3 over).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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