Dear can they force me to rent for another year?
Perhaps I might help. You prepared the lease and so you should know whether the lease provided for the present tenants to exercise an "option" to extend the lease or to renew the lease for a further term. Without an "option" to renew or to extend the lease does not offer the tenants the right to demand that you lease beyond the current term.
You should be prepared for a battle in Housing Court when this lease is up. Hire an attorney now to be sure that you are taking all the proper steps to assure yourself that you will not continue the tenancy. Your lawyer will review your lease and inform you if you are required to provide an advance notice of your intention not to renew the lease. If the lease has a requirement for that form of notice make sure you provide the notice in the manner and in the time period required by the lease.
Your tenants may be upset and angry that you are not about to accommodate their request. It is likely that they will stay when the lease is over. If you take rent after the lease you continue the tenancy and then are required to terminate the tenancy before going to court to seek the eviction for holding over.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
The answer to your question depends in part on whether the apartment is rent-stabilized.
If the apartment is rent-stabilized, the short answer is "yes, unless an exception applies" -- the landlord generally must serve a notice of right of renewal at least 90 days but not more than 150 days before the expiration of the lease, and must offer either a 1-year or 2-year lease. The failure to serve the notice However, there is an exception that arguably may be applicable to your situation, if the owner/landlord wants to take the property off the rental market and either demolish the building or use it for some other purpose (such as your purpose, which is to sell the building). If that exception does apply (and I haven't researched whether it does), a notice of non-renewal must be served during that same renewal period (at least 90 days but no more than 150 days before the expiration of the lease term). Here's the important thing: If the landlord fails to serve the notice of non-renewal properly during that period, the tenant is entitled to renew the lease. So, if the period has already expired, then you might be stuck with the tenant for another year or even two years.
If the apartment is not rent-stabilized, the short answer to your question is "no, unless the lease says otherwise". If the lease is silent on the right of renewal, then you don't have to renew the lease and can tell your tenants to leave. Some leases, though, say that the tenant "may not renew the lease without the consent of the landlord, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld". You might have to litigate over whether it's unreasonable to withhold consent when your plan is to vacate the building and sell the house. (By the way, you should consult with a real estate broker to see if the house might be sold for more if there's a tenant in the space who has a good payment record.) Be careful, though, because your right to commence an eviction proceeding vanishes if you accept rent (or even hold onto the rent check for too long) after the expiration of the lease term -- accepting rent converts the expired holdover tenancy into a valid month-to-month tenancy that requires termination through a 60-day notice of termination prior to commencing a holdover proceeding.
For all these reasons, I recommend consulting with a landlord-tenant for advice on how to proceed. A mistake here potentially could leave you stuck with your tenant for another year or longer. Also, the answers above could change dramatically based on a more detailed review of the facts specific to your situation. Best of luck.