Crafting a tenant buyout

Rent it Right

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Luxury Connect | Oct. 16-18 | Beverly Hills

Q: We rented out our family home when my husband was transferred to a branch office in another state. We thought the transfer would last two years, but after a year, he was told to return to his original office. Trouble is, we leased our home for two years, and our renters are refusing to move out. Is there anything we can do about this? –Ronny and Debra D.

A: I sympathize with your predicament. Facing the prospect of renting in your own town while renters occupy your home must sting. But unless you can convince them to vacate, there’s nothing you can do about it. Just as you would expect the renters to honor the length of the lease, so must you abide by it (absent, of course, any misbehavior or failure to pay rent that would justify terminating the tenancy).

That said, you might want to think about ways to entice your renters to leave. First, try to figure out why they are refusing to move. Certainly the "hassle factor" must be high on their list, as it would for anyone, but maybe there’s more. The more you can learn about their desire to stay, the more you can design a buyout package that might entice them to move.

First, address the inconvenience factor. Anyone moving out must deal with packing up and physically moving their belongings. Although the renters would have to do this anyway at the end of their two-year lease, you could offer to pay for this now. That’s a pretty hefty incentive.