Sellers fear deciding to sell their duplex will either scare off the tenants they already have, or keep new tenants from moving into the building.
And many new and existing tenants worry that new ownership will mean a sudden change in living; whether it be an immediate spike in rent or sudden change in rules.
In both cases, those fears are largely unfounded.
The lease follows the property, not the owner. In other words, no matter who owns the property, they must honor the terms of any existing lease, unless the owner and tenant mutually agree to a change them.
So a tenant can’t move out until the lease expires. The landlord can’t change the amount of rent either.
The only thing that should change for the tenant is who they send rent checks to.
Granted, tenants may experience rent increases when that lease expires; especially if they are currently paying well below market rents. However, those tenants have no guarantee their current owner won’t raise rent at that time either.
And sellers can still expect their tenants to pay rent on time, and begin eviction proceedings if rent goes unpaid.
Explaining this to tenants in clear, understandable terms often goes a long way toward obtaining their cooperation in showing units while the property is on the market.
More importantly, doing so helps everyone involved sleep better at night.