Selling home with tenants

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Selling home with tenants

I have a 2-family home fully rented with month-to-month leases. I recently placed my home on market and accepted an offer. The buyers want to live in home, so i gave my tenants a 30 day notice to move. Used their last months rent to cover this. The area they want to live in is hard to find places to rent. What happens if they are not able to move out on time? The buyers need to

be in the home by beginning of april because their lease is up. If the tenants don’t move out this can jeopardize the sale. Can I sue my tenants if the sale falls through because they didn’t vacate? I can only find tenant rights online, nothing for landlords regarding the sale of a property that’s rented.

Asked on March 17, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it was a month-to-month lease, you had the right to terminate the tenancy on a month's notice. If you provided the notice and they do not move out when instructed, you can bring a legal action in court to remove the tenants. This is what is called a "summary" action, because it can be brought and get into court on short notice; it will still take a few weeks, however. You can only remove them by a legal action, so you should file it the day they are supposed to leave but did not. Eviction actions are technical in that a minor paperwork or procedural error can force you to start over, costing you time; hire a landlord-tenant attorney to do this for you, so as to not waste time. In fact, hire the lawyer now and let him/her review the notice you provided the tenants, to make sure it is procedurally correct; if it's not, the lawyer can re-notice them right away, which will waste or cost you less time than if you wait until the end of the notice period before discovering some flaw in it.

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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