Posted by Bert G on April 27, 2000 at 10:19:01:
Are the current leases month-to-month or for a longer term? In any case, you are bound by the existing leases until they run out. However, you can notify the tenant that the leases will not be renewed, and that new leases will have to be signed. You can raise rents at that time. (If they’re month-to-month, in most states 30 days notice will do unless another term is specified in the lease).
Tenants generally expect the rent to go up when a building changes hands. In your introductory letter to them, you should tell them this up front.
If the existing tenants are good and worth keeping, you run the risk of driving them away if the rent increase is too steep. Consider what it will cost to replace them. I like Mr.Landlord’s suggestion. If for example, you think you need a $20 increase, write them a letter that says smething like: “because of (insert sob sory here), we need to raise the rents $40. If this will be a problem for you, please call right away.” If they pay the $40, great! If they call & say they can’t handle $40, ask them “What do you think would be a fair Middle Ground?” Umm $20?
If the tenants are the kind you’ld be better off without, jack it up as high as the law and your conscience will allow.