When a rental unit changes ownership, such as in the case of the prior landlord's death, sometimes the new landlord will want to clear the unit of the current tenants. There are laws regarding this, and some cities, such as those with rent stabilization, make it much more difficult. In most cases it cane be done eventually.
On a month-to-month lease there is a minimum of a thirty day wait in which a notice must be given that the tenant will need to leave. If they've lived in the unit for over a year, that wait period may be longer. If they're on a longer lease, you're required to wait until that lease term expires. You cannot kick them out before the end of it without any violations to the lease. Rent stabilized tenants are harder to move out and even if they're on a month-to-month, you cannot simple tell them that you aren't renewing their lease. The only way around that is if you'd like to have a family member move in or if you would like to live in that unit.
If the tenant has violated the lease or refuses to move at the end of the time frame given on a month-to-month lease, an eviction may be the best route to take.
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