Sometimes duplex owners who are thinking about selling their properties are not only on the fence about selling, but also what to do with tenants who are either under month-to-month leases, or are about to expire.
After all, if both units are leased, doesn’t that eliminate the possibility of an owner occupant moving in?
Yes and no.
First, even if a prospective duplex seller hasn’t made her mind up as to whether or not to move forward, I suggest modifying the lease she uses to include language that in the event she chooses to sell, and a buyer wishes to occupy that tenant’s unit, the tenant will agree to do so given appropriate notice.
Of course, if you’re in a rent control neighborhood or city where such clauses are prohibited, or tenants must be compensated for relocation, you must abide by those standards.
A second option many duplex owners who are considering selling choose is to simply let the tenants continue renting on a month-to-month basis. Some owners feel this puts them in a precarious position; giving the tenant an opportunity to leave he might not otherwise seize. However, if the current happens to be at or below market rate, the fact is most tenants don’t seem too excited about the prospect of moving.
Both options are worth consideration, if you simply need more time when deciding to sell your duplex.