Reply To: Buying a home with tenants in place

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You are not allowed to evict arbitrarily (and eviction is very hard in DC) but one of the only ways to force someone out is if the owner or the owner’s relative is going to move in (and they make you prove it). So yes, you can make the tenants move if you are planning to move in yourself and I think that requires a minimum 90 day notice. Contact OTA for details.

While there is a legal framework, I strongly suggest you first try to settle it in a friendly matter rather than just serving an eviction notice. It is the right thing to do and there is nothing worse than having a pissed-off tenant living in your space for 90 days; keep in mind they can make your life hell and do a lot of damage. Avoid that situation at all costs.

My recommendation: approach the tenants and say that you have the right to move in but you understand this sucks for them. Negotiate a move-out date for them and offer them at least $1k ($1k-5k) to move. Also say that you are doing this voluntarily and in return you expect them to leave the place in good condition, allow you to visit the unit with a contractor, etc.

This will cost a little more money in teh short term but will be well worth it. Again, the worst situation you can have is a pissed-off tenant and you never know how bad that can get. Good luck.