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Tenant Rights When Rental Property is Put Up On Sale

If you’ve been renting the same property for a long time, chances are that you call this place home and really mean it. You have collected hundreds of happy moments associated with your house, you know all its ins and outs, and maybe you even dream about it while being far away. This is your home. Well, at least until your lease expires.

It’s not a surprise many tenants feel frustrated and confused when it turns out that their ‘home’ has been put up for sale. Often, it feels like a combination of surprise, anger, and stress all rolled into one. You are overwhelmed by questions you have no answers to: How could my landlord do this to me? What are my rights? Is selling a rental property with tenants even legal? How soon should I move out? Is there any chance to stay?

To begin with, there is no need to go crazy. Just like the majority of problems on this planet, this one has a solution. The fact that your rental home is available for sale does not automatically mean you should grab your bags and saunter off into the sunset. After all, you have your tenant rights, and they are meant to protect you exactly in situations like this.

So let’s dig deeper and find out what landlord-tenant law says in this regard and how to minimize your loss — both mental and financial — when you find out your rental home is available for sale.

Quick fact: your course of action will depend greatly on the type of lease you have.

If You Have an Oral Agreement

Hopefully, you are reading these lines only out of curiosity. Because as experience confirms times and times again, going for a verbal rental agreement is one of the biggest mistakes tenants make. Although it is true that such agreements are binding by law, they are easy to misinterpret and hardly possible to prove. But no worries, learn what rental rights you have without a written lease and try to make the most out of this knowledge.

If You Have a Month-to-Month Lease

If you are renting on a monthly basis, it basically means that your contract expires and gets renewed every 30 days. Should your landlord decide to sell their property and terminate your month-to-month lease, they can do it with ease. All it takes for them is to give you the notice to vacate within the reasonable term stated by the law.

This term varies from state to state, but it’s usually around 30 days. The rare exception is California, where month-to-month renters should be notified about the termination of their lease 60 days before the expected move-out day if they’ve been living in the same rental unit for a year or more.

Month-to-month lease agreement

But even if you have a month-to-month lease and it is relatively easy for your landlord to show you the door, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be looking for a new place to rent right away. Just like with fixed-term leases, your month-to-month contract remains valid under the new landlord until they say otherwise.

If You Have a Fixed-Term Lease

Although things are messier with a fixed-term lease, it’s still possible to learn all the ins and outs of your tenant rights when your landlord decides to sell a property. So let’s see what steps you should take to minimize your loss when the place you call home is put up on sale.

More like this: 7 Warning Signs in Your Residential Lease Agreement

Read Your Lease Agreement First

Generally speaking, a rental agreement is yet another form of business contract. And contracts are meant to predict all possible conflicts that might arise during their period of validity. So chances are that your lease copy has all the answers you’re looking for.

It might state that the property you are renting can be put up on sale at any time, but your landlord is obliged to give you a notice at least 60 days before they want you to move out. Alternatively, it might state that you can stay by the end of your lease but under a new landlord.

The bottom line is simple: as soon as you find out your long-term home had been put up for sale, read your rental agreement from A to Z. You need to know if there a specific clause explaining your rights in this particular situation.

Check Your State Landlord-Tenant Laws

States establish landlord-tenant laws that all property managers must follow, designed to protect tenants, owners, investors and managers. According to Real Estate Exam Ninja, a real estate broker’s license is the most commonly required type of accreditation needed for property management.

If your lease doesn’t mention anything about your rights in the discussed situation, the next step to take is to refer to legislation. But remember that tenant-landlord law is different from state to state, which means your tenant rights might slightly vary depending on your location.

check landlord-tenant laws

For instance, if you’re renting in California, you can have a sigh of relief as a local tenant-landlord law is tenant-friendly. In case you have a fixed-term lease, you have the right to stay in your rental property until its end. What’s more, when in the Golden State, you can request relocation allowance if your new landlord wants you to move out before your lease expires.

In case you’re a tenant in Washington, there is no need to worry either. Your lease remains valid if a rental property is sold, and your former landlord is obliged to provide you with a name and address of a new landlord. What’s more, your former landlord must transfer your security deposit to the bank account of the new owner (make sure it’s done if you want to get your security deposit back).

When in Illinois, tenants can be relaxed too, as their lease remains in full effect even if there is a new landlord. This means that tenants cannot be forced to leave or asked to pay a different rent until the current lease expires. According to Illinois tenant-landlord law, tenants must be informed about a sold rental property within ten days of purchase.

Do I Have to Pay Rent If My Landlord Is Selling the House?

You’re obligated to pay rent to your current landlord until the property is sold. After that, there are two scenarios that you can face as a tenant.

  • If the new homeowner decides to continue renting out this property, you’ll just have to continue paying rent to your new landlord under the same agreement.
  • Otherwise, you are only obligated to pay rent while you live in the property.

How Often Can My Landlord Show My House While I’m Living in It?

It depends on the state laws, but in most cases, the landlord has the right to show the property during reasonable hours and only after the 24-hour notice (in some states, it might be a 48-hour notice).

For starters, if you think that there are too many showings or they happen at times that are inconvenient for you, start with a polite, straightforward conversation with your landlord. Try to convey your frustration — after all, you’re the one living in the house, and you have a right to ask the landlord to arrange showings at hours that are also suitable for you. What’s more, if there are many interested buyers, discuss with the owner of the property the possibility of organizing an open house instead of separate showings.

If you feel that your landlord is not being reasonable about times or numbers of property tours, you can check with your lawyer to see what you can do about it. However, we strongly recommend you be careful with such a fragile thing as a good tenant-landlord relationship that can be ruined with the involvement of a lawyer.

More like this: Illegal Actions Your Landlord Might be Taking

Can I Break My Lease If My Landlord Is Selling the Rental?

First, make sure you check your lease because most of the landlords tend to include the rights and obligations in this situation to stay flexible and vacate the property faster.

Unfortunately, if your lease doesn’t mention anything about the sale situation, it will be a bit more complicated. State laws in many locations do not give tenants a way to get out of the lease in the case of property being sold.

Usually, laws keep you under the same rental agreement but with the new landlord/homeowner.

Also, there is a chance that you can break your lease in case of any lease agreement violations on the landlord’s side. However, before trying to look for a breach in the contract, we recommend you talk to your landlord directly. Sometimes, it only takes one good talk to point out whether they plan to sell the house before the lease expires, how many times they want to show the house, etc.

Facts to Keep in Mind

  • Tenant rights are superior to property rights. It means that if your former landlord is no longer your landlord, and you’ve got a new one, you can stay in the property and enjoy your basic tenant rights until your lease comes to an end.
  • You might be subject to relocation allowance. If your landlord wants you to move out because a property is put up for sale, you might request a relocation allowance. In some cases, you’ll have a chance to receive a so-called tenant relocation payment.
  • Even if your rental home is put up for sale, it is still your home. This means that you still have your right to quiet enjoyment, and the property owner cannot invite prospective buyers to an open house whenever they want to. A landlord is still obliged to give you a 24 hours’ notice.
  • It’s time to ask for bonuses. When a rental property is put up for sale while you’re still renting it, chances are good that people will come to see the place every now and then. This means you’ll have to keep your property clean and ready for demonstration permanently. As it may cause distress, you have a right to negotiate your rental price and ask for a discount to cover inconveniences. More often than not, landlords agree on that.

In Conclusion

Housing issues should not be a source of stress, but they frequently are. If you are renting a home and find out your landlord wants to sell it or even has already done that, the best you can do is stay calm and collected. No matter what people might say and what relevant horror stories they might share with you, both you and your landlord should abide by the law. And, fortunately, American law is rather pro-tenant, which means you should enjoy your rights and have no worries.

170 Comments

  1. Kelli huckaby says:

    I have a question about relocation payment. How do I go about collect that even when the landlord offered a relocation fee and still hasn’t shown any signs of selling his home which was the reason to evict. Actually him and his wife are living in the home now and I would like to collect my relocation fee since it cost me every dime i had plus some and I have young children. What do I do?

  2. Jeff Scott says:

    Hi,
    I have a question pertaining an issue here in Texas. I have been renting the property through a real state. Owner is selling the property and already gave me 30 day notice. Am I obliged to pay the last month rent? Also, they are telling me that I need to repaint all the walls and do all the repairs before I leave, if not they wont return my deposit. How does it work? Please let me know

  3. Priscilla Vizcarra says:

    I want to know if I am in a month-to-month lease in the owner sells the property and asks me to leave at a certain date If I cannot find a place by then due to the state of California covet virus can I be evicted and under what grounds can he ask me to leave or will it be taken to court.

  4. Dale charrette says:

    daughter in law has three year lease in Fayetteville NC, owner recently tried to evict and case was dismissed for no evidence. He never makes repairs and we had to call code enforcement. Now he sold house even though she has 2 years left on lease, He said new owners are moving in 1/1/21, I have not even been given a notice, or options of financial incentive to move ( might consider right deal), If not I would stay whole lease, should I take old owner and new owner to court for breach of contract.

  5. KIMBERLEY D ROSS says:

    Hello,

    I am a landlord and may have to evict a tenant for non-payment. I am also planning to sell the duplex. What happens if we are in the middle of an eviction and the property sells and the new landlords do want the tenant out?

    Does the eviction continue under my name or would the new landlords need to file a new case?

    Thanks

  6. Banovz says:

    I’ve been renting for almost 6 years now in CA. I’ve changed my lease to a month-to-month lease. My landlord decided to sell the unit I’m renting and sent me a notice letter on October 6. On his notice, he’s giving me 30 which I have to vacate his place by November 5. I explained to him that I’ve been looking for a place and a house is now in escrow but might take more than 30 days. I asked him for at least the end of November which is less than 60 days.
    Today, he sent another letter stating that he wants a copy of a purchase agreement and a written notification stating my date to move out. In addition, he included that he’s been in contact with an eviction company that they inform about the landlord’s right to terminate a tenancy. “AB3088 – Covid 19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020, which basically since he’s selling the house, I have to move out in 30 days or they will remove me and my family out of their unit.
    Can he do that? Don’t I have 60 days as CA law stated that I have up to 60 days? Can you help me understand my right and what should I do?

  7. Sharlita taylor says:

    I live in Tennessee and rented an apartment one year ago and signed a two year lease they ended up selling the apartments after one year and now my new landlord wants me to sign a new month to month lease. Is this legal

  8. Nanette Johnson says:

    We are renting a house in Ohio. We have been notified that the owners want to sell the house asap. They have offered financial assistance to “help us move out as quickly as possible “. We are planning to move out of state (that was our plan when our lease was up. We have 15 months left on our lease). Can we ask for the total amount of our moving costs?

  9. Valentina Varela-Luis says:

    Hi, we’ve been renting our current apartment for 3 years now and have since had two owners. The new landlord who has just bought the place last year is now selling again, so we decided we would find a bigger place due to outgrowing our current place(we have a child now) we still have 5months left on the lease, but they want us to pay for September’s rent even though they want us out by the 1st of September? And they’re taking our security….we have been great tenants, and he has since let multiple different people into the apartment for potential buyers. Is this okay? I’m almost positive he’s not even worried about renting it out but selling it instead. Mind you we have had to put up with a lot from the neighbors including the home not being up to date with inspection…

  10. Hali Barron says:

    Hello,
    I live in PA and have a month to month lease. The landlords son put the house up for sale due to the fact the landlord went into an assisted living facility. The appointed realtor (who is a close friend of the landlords son) was not very compromising when he first put the home up for sale when it came to my rights as a tenant. Now, there have been two showings scheduled without my knowledge or permission. The prospective buyers came to the property while I was taking a nap and almost came into my apartment. What can I do?

  11. Denise Allen says:

    What if house sells and I cant find another by end of 30 days

  12. Nicole says:

    Our lease is up on August 1, 2021 (just renewed again.) We were just told today that the owners sold the property (3 homes total on it, approx. 50 acres) and that they need us to be out of the home within 5 months. They sent a new lease agreement and amended it to reflect month to month. We did not sign it, of course. We’re really upset that we have to move. Is there anything we can do?

  13. April Tripplett says:

    I live in Illinois and I was give a 30 notice to move out as my home is being sold and have to move at the end of my lease in the middle of a Pandemic.Are there any options

  14. Tiffany Brown says:

    Im a renter. My landlord died and 3 months later we were informed 4 days prior to the house going on the market that it was being sold. The realtor is constantly rude and forcing us to do walk through with potential buyers and keeps telling us well they will let you stay. We’r have not been given any legal documentation at all through this. I don’t know what to do and it’s causing a lot of stress and money loss for my family.

  15. Cindy Lee says:

    I own a home in Baltimore City MD, and it was being management by a property manager. After requesting a walk-through of the property, we found the home to be horribly kept, broken property, and they had a dog, although the lease said no pets. It is clear that the property manager did not do their annual walk-through as they claimed, and I gave the PM a 90 termination notice, along with the tenant because i will be putting the home up for sale. The termination of their lease is 2-3 months before their actual lease ends. If they refuse to move by the 60 days given, what do I do next? Or if the home is sold before the 60 days, and the new owner is not interested in renting the property, what is their next steps to get the tenant out?

  16. Julie Dompier says:

    we were notified last year that it could be possible the landlord would sale the rental property we are on. July 5th, 2019 we received a letter from landlord stating that the place was sold and they would sign around August 15th. I requested from him the buyers information so I could get a time frame to move. I contacted them and they stated a few days after they sign on the 12th of August that they would give us a few days. I stated that we still had last months rent which would cover the whole month of August and that we found a place but could not move into the dwelling until mid September or the beginning of October and that is the best we could do at this time. Awaiting response but what is our rights?

  17. Alex Tripp says:

    I have been living in my studio apartment for going on 3 years now, Our building was put on the market then purchased about a year ago. Since then none of the tenants have gotten update information about this new company. None of the contact information (phone numbers emails address) are accurate not even for maintenance. There are multiple issues with the building that I believe is risking our health. I am now at the point of the year where I need to renew our lease since we can not afford to move this year. From what I am hearing from other tenants they are raising rent by quite a bit but are not keeping up with any maintenance let alone paying there bills (we got two notices from the city about past due fees for the water and garbage pick up) not sure what to do here any advice?

  18. Tyiesha Pringle says:

    Hi my owner sold the home and a new owner has given me a 60 day notice. The heat and air has never worked in a portion of my home for the last 2 years. Do i still need to pay rent if the new owner who i don’t have any contract with states that he will not fix anything until i vacate.

  19. kristin bleier says:

    I was living in a rental property and while on vacation there was a water leak. They had to do construction, remove ceiling in kitchen and then had a drywall company and painter come to fix the repairs. After they left the owner wanted to put was having an open house and forced me to pay the cleaning costs. The house was full of dust from the construction. About 2 weeks later, there appeared to be more leak and the workers had to come back and put two larger holes in the ceiling. We were told the holes would remain until we moved out which was about three weeks later. The owner never had someone clean the mess from all the construction. is this legal?

  20. Neal W says:

    Hi Alex, thanks for all your helpful comments here.
    My aunt is on Section 8 and has lived in her house for 20 years in California. The landlord died and his daughter took over the property and gave her a 30 day written notice to move. My aunt is on a month to month lease, through the housing authority. She has been looking for a place to live for months but is having a tough time. (no call-backs, etc) Also, her section 8 housing working is in Florida, which seemed weird to me.

    Is the landlord required to give 60-day notice, or is 30-day legal?
    I’ve heard that some tenants may receive money to help relocate but I believe that’s only with a year lease, does that sound correct?

    Thank you!
    Neal

  21. C.S says:

    Currently, the house we are renting went up for sale and have had requests for viewings every day. We asked them to show the house on specific days as it’s beginning to disrupt our way of living having to accommodate people coming into our living space. We also have a dog we have to consider. The Realtors are beginning to become a little aggressive, and we feel showings every other day is just excessive. What rights do renters have about excessive viewing?

  22. Rosy Morales says:

    Hi,
    I have being renting a house for about 10 moth with a contract for a year. We paid a deposit of a moth of rent plus the last month of rent before moving to the house. The house just got sold by the end of May after being in foreclosure. We talked to the previous owner and the are only returning the 1 month deposit but they do not want to return the last month of rent (which would be June) because they say we will still be living in the house.

    My question is, it is true that we will live the house thru June but they are not the owners anymore so do they have the right to keep that rental money of a house that is not their property during that period? Is there anything I can do to get that money back?

  23. Crystal Martinez says:

    Ive been renting to own a home and just found out it has been sold to someone else and i have to move is this even possible what can i do

  24. Cassie Zierenberg says:

    I need some legal advice my friend had a lease with their property manager they sold the place and a new owner is giving them a month to month lease untill they sell each individual unit once it gets sold how long do they have befor they have to vacate my understanding its 30 days but they got told they’ll only have 15 days once its been sold we live in utah?????

  25. Lucy Clemence says:

    Hello,
    We own a property in Chattanooga, TN and we have a family member living in the Property (without any type of written rental agreement). They have not paid rent in 7 years and the property is currently on the market. We had hoped they would be amenable in the property sale as we have said we will continue to help them out and pay rent in the next property they end up in but they are clearly trying to sabotage the sale of the property.
    Can you advise if TN is a state that requires 30 or 60 days written notice to tenants? we plan to have them move out the property before selling (by eviction if necessary) so we can sell the property without her causing trouble.
    Thanks for any advice you can provide.

  26. Sofia kelly says:

    I moved into my rental Feb 1, 2019 and have a 1 year lease. My landlord wants to sell the house ASAP. I live in California. Can she do this and break our contract. We are a family of 6. I have four kids and I just barely unpacked and settled in and now she wants to sell? So frustrating, not sure what my rights are??

  27. Krista Moussette says:

    I live in Massachusetts and have lived in my apartment 6 years with my husband and 13 year old son. The landlord recently sold the place and the new owners want both tenants out by June 19th, we are tenants at will. I have found a place but its not available until July 22nd, do I have any recourse? I have no place to go until the new place is available, nor do I have the money to store my belongings.

  28. Dana Lynn says:

    We need to break our lease for job relocation. The owner has decided she would like to sell and is keeping us in our contract to continue to pay rent. If the apartment gets sold, and the new buyers move in before our lease ends, we cannot be charged for those weeks and or months, correct?

  29. Dan Watts says:

    Does the owner of the property have to be present during an exhibition of a rental property to a prospective buyer? I live in in New Mexico and the law is pretty clear that I must allow the landlord access with 24 hours written notice to show the house to prospective buyers, however, does that include all real estate agents and their clients?

  30. Daryll says:

    Hi I live in California and I have been renting from a apartment and my lease was up on the 31st of april and the landlord advised me that they sold the place on april 23rd and I already plan to move the first week of may. Do I still have to pay rent for the month of may?

  31. M Ortiz says:

    Asking for my neighbor. Her landlord died and the daughter wants to sale the house so she’s asked them to move. We live in Texas. So how much time should be given to them to find a place and move. And does she have to keep paying rent?

  32. Chris says:

    My landlord sold the property I was renting.before they did I expressed interest in buying the home to both the landlord and the Realtor.i said I would like to buy the home and that I was getting pre qualified.on the day I got my pre qualification the landlord sold the place for cash.dont they have to wait and see if I qualify before they sell the home to someone else?

  33. Melke Zedec says:

    Hi Alex

    I just moved into a new flat actually I just paid the 2nd rent, and I found out the flat was out on market for sale.

    Whats my rights on that?

    Thanks

  34. Melinda enderle says:

    My landlord called me on Saturday and wanted to do a showing on sunday at 6:15 to 7pm but i told her that will not work. Can i do that?

  35. Kaitlyn Owsley says:

    In the last 30 days of the lease when the house is being sold, do they no longer require a 24 hour notice to gain entry?

  36. Tracy Carlos says:

    I am on a month to month lease and the owner is selling the property. Am I required to give the landlord a 30 notice if I am planning to move? My husband seems to think we don’t have to since they put the house up for sale

  37. Scott Clark says:

    Is it legal for a landlord to tell you they’re selling the house you’re renting to get you to relocate and then rent to someone else. What rights do I have ? This seems fraudulent to me. I got tired of dealing with landlords so I put a deposit down on a house. Can I file for relocation fees ?

  38. Tracy zis says:

    Hi….can the buying agent come through a gate to property and inspection for new buyers without notice???

  39. Kelly Silva says:

    I live in MA. Landlord is selling.
    Do they have to ask me me first or tell me that they will post my apartment on line? They didn’t take pictures of the other tenants apartment just mine! I was pretty horrified to see this without even knowing! Ugh.
    Thank you.
    Kelly

  40. Robyn says:

    We live in Texas and My landlord sold our place and the new landlord wants us to move out so he can move in a guy who works for him. Can he legally make us move out in 30 days because of that? We are on a month to month lease and pay our rent on time every month. And if so, we are supposed to pay rent on Feb. 5th, do we still have to pay that or can we use that to put towards a new place?

  41. Lola smith says:

    Hi, I’ve lived in a house as a tenant in New York for 3 years. The owner sold the home and has given me a lawyers letter that states have 45 days to vacate. I told her I need atleast 3 months. She said thats impossible because the house is sold and they will close in 60 days. I told her to take me to court. What rights do I have?

  42. Richard Davis says:

    Wow. This is really helpful and informative. It is definitely important to know the rights of a tenant when the rental property is put up on sale. Whether you’re a tenant or the owner it is important to know to avoid conflicts and mistakes. Great blog by the way. Keep sharing!

    • JoAnna Davignon says:

      I wish someone would’ve explained this to me back in 2003. I assumed we either had to purchase the property ourselves or leave. Leaving really messed us both up. I did find recovery; however, he did not until the utmost very end. We were happy before leaving our home. How do I rectify this resentment?

  43. Ben says:

    Owner wants to move back in to her house. In California. Month to month. Lived here 14 years…any requirement for her to pay me bonus for eviction due to no fault of my own?

  44. Wishang says:

    I agree with the terms you given as landlord and you can know about the law. tenant have knowledge of the law when his landlord selling the house.your landlord cannot force you to leave the house. this article is full of knowledge and thank you for sharing your information with us. i will share your information with others.

  45. Bella perez says:

    Landlord sold without telling us, we have a fixed term lease but would like to leave. Do we have a right to leave before the lease is over, now that it’s a new owner or are we still committed to the contract? Would like to hear our options since this sell caught us by surprise.

  46. APRIL D BROWN says:

    If we are renting to own and have paper work…we pay the home owner.can she sell it anytime?

    • Alex says:

      Hi April,

      By default, the home cannot be put back on the market during the time frame mentioned in the rent-to-own written agreement. Please, make sure you check the paperwork regarding this or have your lawyer to take a look at it.

    • Margaret says:

      Legally, the property owner is not allowed to sell if you have a rent-to-own agreement. BUT sometimes they can and do sell anyway. One option to protect yourself: Make a copy of the rent-to-own contract. Take it to the county records office (Names differ, but you want the office that handles real estate records). Pay a filing fee and file the contract. If the owner tries to sell the property, a title search will show that YOU have an interest in the property. Tht will stop the sale.

  47. AM says:

    Hi. On 5/01/18 I entered a 3-year residential lease in SC. I was recently notified the property has been sold and the new owners want my landlord to handle he lease buyout. He’s offered 2-months rent, which doesn’t cover moving expenses and uprooting my kids. Do I have any protection from being forced to move?

  48. Melinda Davis says:

    I think what tenants need to keep in mind is that in many cases the house they’re renting was once the landlords home for many years and many times there is still a mortgage on that house so when a tenant gives their 30 day notice and leaves the property looking like a dump and causes problems, they can find another place to rent. The landlord now has TWO mortgage payments and taxes to pay because tenants wouldn’t allow the house to be viewed to a potential buyer during their last 30 days even though their month to month rental agreement stated such. I’ve already lost 1 home due to tenants. They’re ungrateful people who hold no regard for other people’s possessions because they’ve never worked hard to “own” anything!!

  49. Christy says:

    I have a question, we rent a condo in Florida. We asked the landlord before we moved in if he was going to sale it. He said no, come to find out. It was for sale before we moved in. September till now. We have people just show up at the condo. because they want to look at it. Not even with a Agent. Then we have had agent just walk in our condo when the guy seen me and boyfriend leaving. Didn’t even say anything to us. We come back 5 minutes later and they in our condo. He never called us. Just showed up the day we were off work. Please help me. Thank you

  50. sarah hisey says:

    Our landlord sold house and we have a year lease that is not up until march. We also were behind in some rent and had an agreement with the landlord to catch up. We have been complaining about things that need to be fixed including plumbing issues, bugs, animal in the attic, problems with electricial and also broken appliacnce. The house was sold we were not informed it was for sale or even sold. The new owner wants us out by end of month. We have not been given notice in writing by the new owner. Is there a way to get more time for our family? What happens to our security deposit?

  51. Maureen Yearwood says:

    Hello, I reside in Hawthorne, Ca and just found out today 12/12/2018 my landlord sold her apartment building after residing In it for almost 3 years. Month to Month, no lease after the first year.
    I’m 62 years old and was wondering if I’m entitled to relocation fee in the City of Hawthorne. Thank you!

  52. Jelane Gay says:

    So in ohio, whats the law if your landlord sold the house already without informing you until it was already sold? Is the new owner allowed to evict even though we were given no warning?

  53. Victor says:

    I have a similar case. The only difference is that the property is live on Zillow and the photos were taken without any consent from anyone in the family. (i found out about it because people started calling me and other people living in the house asking us if we sell the place)

    I am sure the when the realtors came to look inside the place they snacked in a camera and took photos of our personal belongings and now it’s all live on the web.

    I understand that to sell anything you need photos. but no one asked us and also there is a car with plate number right there on the first picture.

    What are our rights in this case? Who do we contact in this regard?

  54. Mora Alonso says:

    We have given our tenants 90 days to vacate with a written notice because we will be selling the property. They have asked for more time that we cannot give them because we too are in a rental that is going to be sold.

    We are worried they will not be out but would like to reach out and ask them if they are going to make that date. Can we call them and ask them? or is that considered harassment or does it break some other landlord/tenant law? Otherwise we have to start the eviction process.

  55. kevin england says:

    We just got notice that the owner passed away, and our apartment unit had been prearranged to be sold upon her death. We were told the property started escrow today. I understand we have to be given a 60-day notice under California law if we have to move, but the lingering concern is if the new owner wants to come in and jack up the rent. We have been here almost 14 years (and some tenants have been here longer than 20!) so we have enjoyed below-market rent rates. What protections against rent raises do we have?

  56. Hi,
    Does the owner have right to say to others that the house is for rent even if there are still renting/living in that house?

  57. Chris says:

    Hi…I signed a 6 month lease in AZ and moved out right before the fourth month began. I then immediately paid the final 3 months on the lease outright and emailed a letter stating that I was permanently off the premises. I kept the utilities on in my name (in good faith) and they are still on. The house has just been put up for sale yesterday by the realtor that originally rented it to me. Am I required to keep the utilities on while they are selling? There are no sales clauses mentioned in the lease. Thanks for any information.

  58. christopher boivin says:

    what if the property was sold for cash sale/as is and the tenants were given 10 days notice to vacate, because thats when the escrow closes? ive been here 14 years it was my parents house.

  59. Marie Adams says:

    Hi. We live in California. Our lease expires in Jan 2019. The owner intends on putting our house on the market immediately. Quick question: are we required to allow the realtor to take pictures of the inside of the property to put on the MLS listing? We aren’t thrilled with the idea of having our personal belongings put out there for public consumption. Thanks.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Marie,

      You could refuse the photo session, but it’s not quite friendly and won’t bring you to anything good with your landlord. Let’s be honest, it’s quite understandable that homeowner needs fresh photos to sell the property and you would do the same, it’s normal.

      Is it possible to find a compromise since the landlord’s request is not unreasonable?

      At lease you can restrict access to a few limited areas/zones/things and ask a photographer to avoid including anything you’d prefer not to include.

  60. kae walker says:

    Hi Alex,

    I am a California resident and the duplex where I’ve lived the last 30 years has just sold.

    I’ve also been given $20,000 for relocation. Is this taxable?

    Thanks in advance.

    Kae

  61. Laurie Hill says:

    I live in CO and our landlord has decided to sell the house to an investor. My question is when his realtor brings in a potential buyer do we have to leave the house or can we be present.

  62. Victoria A Taitague says:

    Who will be responsible for returning the deposit, the new property owners or the the old property owners. Thank you in advance.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Victoria,

      The person who signed the lease with you will be responsible for giving back the security deposit, until you sign a new lease with a new owner.

  63. Magdalena Alvarado says:

    Hello,

    I have a month to month lease. We have been here since 10/2017 so that is 8 months. When paying rent for June, our landlord mentioned he is planning on selling. He did not let us know exactly when he wanted us out. How much time legally do we have to find a new place?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Magdalena,

      If you are renting on a monthly basis, it basically means that your contract expires and gets renewed every 30 days. Should your landlord decide to sell their property and terminate your month-to-month lease, they can do it with ease. All it takes for them is to give you a notice to vacate within the reasonable term stated by the law.

      This term varies from state to state, but it’s usually around 30 days. The rare exception is California, where month-to-month renters should be notified about a termination of their lease 60 days before the expected move-out day if they’ve been living in the same rental unit for a year or more.

  64. donna holder says:

    We have been renting a house for over 5 years now. We have had two leases the first was for a year then it changed to monthly lease both have expired the landlord has not written up another. they texted this morning saying they want to sell the house and want us to move in 30 days we live in tennessee and i am wondering what will happen if we cant move in the 30 days

    • Alex says:

      Hi Donna,
      If you received a proper written notice, you must move out. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the eviction process.

  65. celeste apodaca says:

    My family has been renting our home for the past 9 years. Our original home owner recently passed away, and her son inherited the house. we received a phone call saying he sold the house. We didn’t give any agreement or receive any notice what so ever on the house being sold or eviction. yes. He was suppose to fix the floor panel under the sink because it leaked thru the floor to the basement. He said there were contractors coming to look at it. But they were the people to buy the house. they were taking pictures as well. and we never received a 24 hour notice that they were going to come

    • Alex says:

      Hi Celeste,

      You should be given a 30-days notice to vacate the property in case of sale and the notice should be in a written form.

  66. Shaneka says:

    Should you still have to pay rent if the owner of the property wishes to move back in shouldn’t they pay you to relocate

    • Alex says:

      Hi Shaneka,

      It all depends on the state you live in. However, relocation assistance should be paid to the tenant in case of the eviction where there is no tenant’s fault. But in your particular situation it’s still not clear enough if your landlord really started to move back in and do something about his intentions or just simply wishes to do that.

  67. Alysia Deboth says:

    Ok so ive been living on this god for sackin. Place for 5 years. N the landlord jus up and sold the apartment building. We are a little behind on rent with the previous owner. Are we still obligated to pay him once he sells the apartments?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Alysia,

      First of all, I would recommend you checking this with your previous landlord directly. But usually it means that you should finish your obligations with the previous landlord and pay everything you owed him in rental payments.

  68. Mary Candelaria says:

    Hello, we have been in a rental home for almost 5 years now. In September of 2017 we discussed a 3 yr real estate contract as to where we would purchase the house in 3 yrs. She never sent me the contract and now they stated they needed to sell the home. We have investors/realtors coming to our home M-S and is very hard with 2 young kids in our home. Also the landlords came by last weekend and asked us to get the house “sell ready”. They are meaning paint where there paint is old, clean up yard etc. Our house is kept in a clean environment all the time but they are asking us to do the extra work to make the house nicer. Is that not their job? I honestly do not mind painting etc if they were to purchase the paint and reimburse me for my services.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Mary,

      It’s not your obligation to do in-house repairs to prepare the house for sale, it is up to landlord to perform all the work.

  69. Debra Guilfoile says:

    I would like to know if i can set the time my place can be shown.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Debra,

      In 23 states, including California and New Jersey, the landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice before she or anyone she authorizes enters the house. The house can be shown only during ‘reasonable hours’, but you cannot set times by yourself.

  70. Nikki Kyle says:

    Hi – I have a question. My property management company informed me on a Friday at 4:30 pm that the owner of my condo decided to sell, and that I had until Monday morning to make it “photographable”. I asked for a place to store boxes, and was told no; I asked for extra time, and was told no; what are my legal obligations for this? I had been in the process of packing to move in a couple of months, and I have no storage unit to put all of the boxes in. No offer of help from the management company or landlord; just demands. Thank you.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Nikki,

      While your lease is still active and the house is not sold, you have legal rights to store your boxes and any other belongings in the house.

  71. Megan Travis says:

    I live in south carolina. My husband and i are current renters and the owner of the house is looking to sell. Can he give permission for the house to be shown with a 24 hour notice to us? We have a dog that is not friendly with people he doesnt know and 24 hours isnt much time for us to find arrangements for him? Does the landlord have to be present when the house is being shown since he approved the showing? Some of the times we have had family there and people sleeping and just not a good time.
    Thank you for your help

    • Alex says:

      Hi Megan,

      As I already mentioned in one of my previous replies to a similar question: In 23 states, including California and New Jersey, the landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice before she or anyone she authorizes enters the house. The open house sessions can be held during ‘reasonable hours’ and your landlord has a right to be present while showing an apartment to a potential buyer.

  72. Lisa says:

    My husband bought a house and there was a pervious tentant living in the house but hasn’t paid rent to the pervious landlord in 5months we bought the house in March 2, of 2018 and now it’s may 19,2018 we bought it for us to live in it she was told several times that she would have to move now when we
    Drove up to move in she replys she
    Wasn’t informed it was sold it was sold thru a realtor company
    And says she moving but hasn’t and it’s been three weeks since she first said that she moving
    I am now homeless with my son and daughter and myself each get
    SSI she won’t move out and we have no where to go
    Please help

    • Alex says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Your situation may be very tricky due to the fact that I cannot know whether previous owner did give the written notice about the house sale. It’s also not obvious from your story whether you became her new landlord according to the lease. In that case you would have to give her a written notice.

      So in this situation, I would strongly recommend seeking the advice from your legal advisor.

  73. kev says:

    Hello i just started renting my apartment this past October 2017 and today which is 5/16/2018 my landlord called me telling me he wants to sell his unit i told him i’m not interested in buying it and i only want to rent for now and my lease ends this year October 2018 and his realtor text me asked me to send him pictures of the apartment so i did and when i signed my lease mt landlord never told me he was selling my unit in the complex till today where by i just moved in and i live in southbridge Massachusetts i called the landlord asking him when my lease ends this October what then and he said thats it smh or if the person buys it and wants to rent to me this is really frustrating because i just moved in and trying to settle down! i have a deep feeling he knew he wanted to sell the place and dint want to tell me cos he wanted money till he sells it which is messed up pls do you have any advise for me

    • Alex says:

      Hi Kev,

      No matter what, in case the house is sold earlier than you finish your lease, there are two ways how this may work:
      1. New homeowner may offer you to sign a new lease with him
      2. You will get a written notice from the landlord giving you time to move out.

      The number of days usually depends on the state you live in.

  74. Kaylee Simo says:

    Hi there,

    My mom’s house just entered into contract with a buyer; she has informed her tenant all along that she was selling the house. The tenant informed her via text message 5 months or so prior that he would be moving out at the end of April 2018; so in negotiations she informed the buyer that the unit will be empty. When she updated the tenant that the house is in contract, he said he told her he was leaving in anger and is not serious.

    How should we handle?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Kaylee,

      The resolution depends on two things:
      1. What state are you living in?
      2. Did your mother send the written notice about the house sale to the tenant?

  75. Sydney Powell says:

    Hi there, I live in MN and just found out that my landlord has sold the property I live in. I was never given written notice (that it was being put up for sale in the first place, nor that it had actually sold). The only reason I found out was because I had called my landlord to inquire about getting out of our lease early due to relocating for a new job, and it was only then that he informed me the property has sold. Additionally, I have found out about numerous times my landlord has helped himself into my apartment without any notice. What are the “punishments” for this.. for not giving written notice of the sale of the house as well as entering without notice? We have a written lease/agreement and it says nothing of landlord changes/sale of property. Additionally, my old landlord told us he would have let us out of our lease early as long as we found new tenants to take a new lease, however the new landlord said absolutely not, this is not an option. Is there anything we can do as we have been kept completely in the dark about this situation and now are getting the short end of the stick?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Sydney,

      Looks like you have all legal rights to file a lawsuit regarding the fact that your landlord didn’t give you the written notice. However, I would recommend you checking with your legal advisor first.

  76. Kathleen M Swesey says:

    I live in California. Is there a customary amount or percentage that we ask for for the rent decrease?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      I don’t recall any detailed information regarding the ‘rent decrease’. May be you can specify what you mean by that?

  77. Anon says:

    I seen people are still getting answers. I have a question. Maybe someone can answer it for me.
    I signed a lease for 12 months. I moved in and within 3 days found roaches everywhere. dead and some alive. I was ensured the building was being treated every other month for them and not to worry. I had a baby that would be born the next month and didn’t want to move all over again so I trusted them. An exterminator came within a few days and treated the inside of my apartment. That was December 2017. Next we noticed the hot water heater wouldn’t even keep the water hot to make a full bath. So December we noticed a hole in the top of one of our closets. letting in a lot of cold air. we made a complaint about it and the hot water heater within the first month and nothing was done. My electric bill was $200-$250 till April. I live in a two bedroom apartment. I lived in a three bedroom house for a year and a half and never paid over $140 for electric. Anyways within the first two weeks the hot water handle came completely off in the shower. I had to use a pair of vice grips to be able to use it to turn it on and off. It was just fixed on May 6th. It took 5 months to have that fixed. The entire time we was told things would start getting fixed so we kept paying rent hoping. The ceiling had a spot in our bathroom where it was falling in and our kitchen and bathroom sinks won’t drain. Our landlord told us on the third after paying rent on the first of May that they’re selling the building. The building sold on the 8th. I am trying to figure out if I can sue for all my money back plus my deposits. We have lived miserably for 6 months. All while having a newborn baby. Any info or help would be great.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Anon,

      If your apartment is inhabitable or needs repairs, your landlord is obligated to fix those problems. In cases he/she doesn’t do that, you should send a notification to him/her that you’re withholding the rent payments until everything gets fixed or fix and deduct the costs. However, I cannot tell you for sure if it’s possible to sue post factum.

      In theory, you can file a lawsuit regarding your security deposit, but this is a sensitive point that you should check with your legal advisor.

      For example, you do not have running water, your heat is not working in the winter or you have a mold issue or lead paint hazard. In this scenario, before you file a lawsuit against the landlord, you usually have the option to notify the landlord that you will withhold rent or move out of the unit if they do not fix the issue.

  78. Stella Zamora says:

    we’re renting our house for almost 10 years now and we’re on the month to month basis.the house was put on sale.people coming in to see it.the agent told us that they found a serious buyer.i heard from people that the tenant supposed to get paid when the house was sold.is that true?is it also true that landlord have to give financial help to the tenant so they can able to move out?what happen if the notice to move out expires and the tenant still can’t find a new place to move in,what will happen?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Stella,

      No, your landlord is not obligated to pay you after the house sale or financially support you. If he gives you a 60-day notice, you should look for a new house and move out. The only money your landlord really owes you is your security deposit (if no damage claims are applicable).

  79. Frank Rivera jr says:

    What if its just a room in a home? That is being put up for sale

    • Alex says:

      Hi Frank,

      It depends on whether you signed a lease agreement or not. If yes, you have all the same rights as any other tenants, which means that your landlord should give you a written notice stating that the house is on sale.

  80. Kaitlyn Allison Burns says:

    I live at The Barracks town homes in College Station Tx. We signed through The Barracks themselves which includes maintance, lawn work, etc.. We have been calling for weeks for them to come fix stuff and come to find out they sold our house to someone and will not provide us with any info on how to get ahold of them to get things fixed and to pay rent. Is there any breach in contract for this? or anything we can do that may get us out of this lease?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      Very weird situation, they just don’t want to give you any info on a new house owner? You should check your lease agreement and direct all your claims to the person or company that’s listed there as a landlord. If this person or company refuses to cooperate, you should contact your legal advisor regardnig this and start a claim in the small claims court.

  81. Makeyna M Ellis says:

    Ive been in my house 7 yrs will be 8 soon i rented the house and it was foreclosed. But ive been living here no problem

  82. Celeste Salvatto says:

    I live in CA. I’ve lived at the property since 2013, currently the lease is month to month. The property is part of a trust the trust owner has died the major holder of the trust wants to dispose of the property. I have received notice to vacate from property management company; I have until July 1, 2018. My household consist of myself and two elderly relatives one currently receiving hospice services. Do I have any tenant rights? I’ve heard stories of tenants being paid to relocate…
    Thank you,

    • Alex says:

      Hi Celeste,

      The house owner has a right to give you a written 60-day notice and sell the house. In this case you’ll have to vacate the property by July 1, 2018 and cannot rely on any financial support from your landlord, unless your lease states that you can.

  83. Holly Elaine says:

    Hello,
    I live in CA and moved into my rental in January and there was a clause in the lease stating that there is a chance the landlord may sell the house and revisit/ negotiate new terms in June. It is April and he is already having realtors come and inspect the property before June and he wants to wrap up the sale by June, but is initiating the process 2 months prior. Is this ok? ?

  84. Arlette F. says:

    My landlord sold the property we are currently living in but our landlord didnt even give us notice that he in process of selling the property. The property is sold has been sold with in the two weeks of my husband and I finding out the property is for sale. The new owner commented about raising the rent and unfortunately we can’t afford at this time. What can my family do with this situation? we wasn’t given any noticed that the property was on for sale and now we feel we are being forced out. How much time do we have to move out and do we need to give new landlord rent and deposit as we are being told from his reality person.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Arlette,

      First of all, it depends on what type of lease agreement you had. But anyway, you had to receive a written notice about the fact that the house is on sale. If you had a month-to-month lease, he had to give 15-30-day notice (depending on the state you live in). If you had a year-to-year lease, he had to give you a 60-day notice.

      P.S. Of course, that doesn’t apply to your situation in case you did not have a written agreement, cause in this case he had all the rights not to give the notice. (However, in some states, verbal agreements can be brought to the small claims court).

      Sometimes, the house can be sold along with the lease, but I doubt that the agreement has been signed behind your back.

  85. Jill Smith says:

    Hello, I have been renting for 10 years and we are on a one-year lease which expires August 31, 2018. However, we spoke to the landlord and agreed to go on a month-to-month lease after August 31st with a 60-day written notice to terminate the lease. He said we could be on a month-to-month until February 2019. However, he didn’t write this on the amendment.
    This is what the amendment says (signed by both parties):
    1. Effective immediately, the lease ends August 31
    2. After August 31, the lease will continue month to month with $200 rent increase and 60-day notice should be provided in writing to terminate the lease
    The landlord wants to start listing his condo on July 1st.
    By law, aren’t we allowed to stay until February 2019? The amendment says after August 31 we will continue month to month so don’t we have at least until October 30, 2018 to stay? Can he list his house before August 31st and does he have the right to ask us to leave before Oct 30?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Jill,

      I believe you are confusing the terms. A month-to-month lease implies that any party (landlord or tenant) can terminate the lease with the 15 or 30-day notice (depends on the state). Considering the written and signed amendment, you should get an advice from your legal advisor to see whether this amendment will hold up and whether you need to go to the small claims court if things escalate.

  86. Diane says:

    I live in Northern California (Bay Area). I suspect my landlord will be listing his apartment building for sale in which I live (4 units with small house attached where the manager lives). I have lived there for several years and have a month-to-month tenancy. If/when the house sells, can the new owners evict all/some of the tenants? Or do landlords typically “clean house” when selling their property? All tenants have lived there for 4 years or more and all are on month-to-month leases. Is it legal to oust everyone that occupies the building? We all pay below market rent for the area. I used to live in SF where tenant’s rights were easily understood and you often get paid relocation monies, but there are no such rent control laws in this city.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Diane,

      The homeowner (your landlord) has a right to sell his house with all the units included, no matter how long you or your neighbors lived there. The only thing he’s obligated to do is to send you the written notice stating that the house is on sale. Then you’ll have up to 60 days to vacate the property.

      However, sometimes people tend to sell their houses with active lease. In this case you’ll have to sign new agreement, so it really depends on the situation. As of right now, you just ‘suspect’ and, unless you get a written notice, you cannot really do anything.

  87. Dana Rodriguez says:

    Hi i live in Fresno California, the house im living in is up for sale. there’s a buyer who wants to come walk through the house. only problem is, he wants me and my children out of the house while he does the inspection. he wanted us to go somewhere else but i said no. so now hes saying he wants us in the front yard. what are my rights to this subject?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Dana,

      Once you’ve received a written notice stating that the house is currently for sale, you have 60 days to look for a new place. Your landlord has a right to schedule a tour during normal business hours. However, you’re not obligated to leave the house during the house tour.

  88. Carol Shomanksi says:

    We live in Maryland. As the tenants is there something that needs to be signed in order for the owners to sell the home? I don’t want to be liable for anyone/anything to the home when it is being shown.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Carol,

      You don’t have to sign anything. Your landlord should send you a written notice, letting you know that the house is on sale, that’s all.

  89. Julie Corkery says:

    Hi, I am a month to month tenant in Maine. The owner has decided to sell the condo, and keeps asking me to show it for him. Making sure that the house is always picked up and clean is one thing, but legally do I have to keep showing it to perspective buyers for him? It’s kind of uncomfortable for me. He does not have a realtor yet.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Julie,

      All you need to do is grant access to the place for his/her visits during the Open House, it’s his responsibility to show the house to the buyer, not yours.

      Also, be advised that your landlord can only request an open house visit during normal business hours.

  90. Ken James says:

    We are moving from the townhouse we live in because our landlord is selling the house. We found another place we like and signed the lease. On the day we went to get the keys and things from the real estate management company he dropped the bombshell that the landlady was planning on selling the house after our one year lease was up! Shouldn’t that have been mentioned before we signed the lease? We would never have leased it had we known that. I am extremely upset and the Realtor knew it. I basically turned my back on him and walked out of the house. This is not right, even if it is legal. Do we have any recourse?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Ken,

      We’re sorry to hear about your situation.

      It depends on whether your landlord sent you a written notice stating that he is selling the house. Unfortunately, if he just mentioned it during the small talk, there is nothing you can do about it. However, I would recommend you taking advice from your lawyer on whether this issue can be brought to the small claims court.

  91. A.D.Rocha says:

    My landlord has given notice of selling the house I rent from her. It sold and we just found another rental to move, I sent her an text advising that we will be vacating by the weekend as the new owner’s agent is asking access for inspections. The landlord claims that I am obligated to give a 30 day notice because her escrow is 60 days. I know for a fact she can change the escrow to 30 days but I don’t believe I have to give her a 30 day notice since she sold the house. If you can clarify this I would be appreciative.

    • Alex says:

      Hi A.D.,

      After your landlord gives you a 60-day notice, you remain tenants until that period expires. If you want to move out sooner, you have to give your own 30-day notice.

  92. Michele Smith says:

    My landlord sales the condo I’m living in and gives me a 60 days notice. I found another place to live, and he tells me that he did not give me an early move out date. Just a 60 day notice. This is in California. I can move out prior to the 60 days can’t I.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Michele,

      After your landlord gives you a 60-day notice, you remain tenants until that period expires. If you want to move out sooner, you have to give your own 30-day notice.

  93. Sara says:

    Hi, my landlord passed away a couple of months ago. His wife still owned the property, but has now decided to sell it in an estate sale. We have potential buyers coming with the management company to look at the apartments. My question is: where do they tend to look? I don’t want to feel like my privacy is being invaded by them going through my closets and cupboards as such. Or do they usually just do a quick walk through? I have two young children, so my house doesn’t look like a museum ( it’s not trashed)

    • Alex says:

      Hi Sara,

      Usually, the just have a walk through, take a look at the plumbing system and evaluate the overall property value. However, if your landlord is selling the house along with the furniture, for example, sometimes a potential buyer may want to look at the compartment wardrobe or something like that. However, they have no right to touch or review your personal staff.

  94. Hiram Arroyo says:

    I have signed a lease agreement 3 months ago which will end Nov/2018 (State of Florida). Last week the property owners decided to list the house for sale and I’m now receiving visitors (showings) while we are at home. I talked to the landlord asking him to release me from the contract and informed him we can vacate in 30-45 days. He doesn’t want to release us from the contract because he wants to wait and see if the house sells. I don’t want to be in this situation and would like to have the liberty to relocate at my convenience, not the owner’s convenience. My question is: Can he force us to stay in the contract even though he never disclosed (before we signed the lease) he would put the house for sale? I would like to move out but want to resolve this in the best way possible and receive back my security deposit.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Hiram,

      First of all, what you need to do is check the lease itself. A lot of times it will have an early termination clause and you can exercise that clause to break the lease early.

      Many clauses in leases require a 60-day notice and two months’ rent, which is a small price to pay to cancel the one year contract. In other cases, the clause could require you to continue to pay rent while the landlord looks for a new tenant or have you surrender your security deposit. It all depends on two things:

      – State you leave in
      – Whether the termination clause is noted in your lease

      Otherwise, the best option for you to resolve this situation safely will be to get your lawyer to look into your lease and give you an advice on it.

  95. Michael Carty says:

    We extended our Florida lease by one month because we were in the process of buying a home. The landlord agreed to add the extra month, if we were lenient with the home being shown for prospective buyers. The home had 12 hours’ worth of showings scheduled within hours of it being listed (at a low price – due to structural & hurricane damage) and had a contract in place before noon that same day. We still have a week left on our lease. My biggest question is – what happens to our deposit? If the house is sold “as is”, does that mean we are entitled a full return on the deposit?

    • Alex says:

      Hi Michael,

      First of all, your landlord has to show the property only during the reasonable hours. Some states also allow to show the property on Saturday, but still, he/she cannot show your property the whole day.

      As for your deposit, you will get it back in full, in case all the requirements from the lease agreement are met and there is no damage to the house caused by you living in it during the lease.

  96. sue jones says:

    I live in Michigan. and grandma passed . so they r selling house. the realtor is having ppl come over at 630 7 pm at night. I get told things than it another. r they allowed to go all hrs.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Sue,

      Here is the deal: In 23 states, including California and New Jersey, the landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice before she or anyone she authorizes enters the house

      Granted, other states don’t have any laws at all about this (or else have laws with vague words like “reasonable notice,” which are left up to the interpretation of judges—meaning you’d have to sue first), so ask her if she’s planning on giving you notice before the open house occurs, and check your state’s law.

      Generally, unless there’s some emergency, your landlord is restricted to reasonable hours. That means normal business hours during the week, perhaps early evening and may even mean weekends. For example, a California court recently held that Saturdays were “normal business hours” since realtors commonly held open houses on Saturday.

  97. jennifer garcia says:

    hello, my landlord told us we were having a home inspection but my neighbor over heard that they’re selling the property to rental investors, does this mean we will have to move out or higher rent?

    • Alex says:

      Hello, Jennifer!

      If your landlord is selling the house, he will have to give you a notice. The notice time frame is defined by the state you live in, so if you let me know your state, I’ll look up this info for you.

      Usually, it’s 30 days since the initial notice to move out.

      Personally, I would recommend you asking your landlord whether he is selling the house or not (if you are in good relationship with him), cause in this situation you’ll have a chance to look for a new house without the rush.

      • Monica Williams says:

        If I am on section 8 and my lease does not expire until the end of the year, where does that leave my family as the new owner buys the house from the original owner

        • Alex says:

          Hi Monica,

          When new owner buys a house from the old one, he can sign a new lease with you. Otherwise, the old homeowner will have to give you a written notice to move out (usually it’s a 30-days notice).

  98. Leigh marie halls says:

    Where do I go.landlord my deceased best friend room mate’s dad is selling house I am on disability 100% disabled have no means to move or monies to do it
    . his son died and I was able to stay here. 9yrs. Now he verbally said I have 60 days. He’s trying to get medical for his wife she’s in ltc till she passes. Can I stay till house sells? Selling the house will put her over the eligibility level.? Pled pled put me in the right direction. Also he won’t respond to my calls or letters

    • Alex says:

      Hello Leigh,

      It depends on whether you have a written lease agreement or verbal. If you have a written agreement, then it means that your landlord had to give you a written notice, not verbal.

      In case of your landlord breaking this agreement, you’ll need to contact your lawyer to resolve this issue and see whether its possible to stay in this house prior to the end of the lease or the house sale.

  99. Tiffany Harris says:

    Hello i live in Rhode Island and my landlord just texted me today that he accepted an offer on the house and we have to move out next month on April 7. I live a month to month lease. But he will not be my new landlord. Should the new owner give me notice that i have to leave?

    • Alex says:

      Hello Tiffany,

      According to the state law:

      The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy or any periodic tenancy for more than a month or less than a year by a written notice, in a form substantially similar to that provided in § 34-18-56(c), delivered to the other at least thirty (30) days before the date specified in the notice.

      The lease agreement is a contract between two parties: you and your landlord. New house owner is not related to your deal. Basically, new house owner can sign a new agreement with you, but only if he wants to rent out this property. Otherwise, you’ll have to move out in 30 days after the notice given by your landlord.

  100. Mark Reiner says:

    We are leasing our home in California and notice was given that our home is now for sale with 5 months left on the lease. I am planning to have our lawyer draft letter with request to vacate property 8 weeks early and this allow the home to be shown any time and more effectively home can be sold without tenants and sold to anyone vs. just investors. I have new job offer coming for company located farther away so will have longer commute lastly need to leave early since July 1st at the beach where we live is zero availbility of homes for rent and prices go up so hoping to use these reason to leave early. lastly also inconvenience of showing home and unknown future if new owner would rant new lease or ask us to move . any advice trying to avoid lease clause for early departure if they agree of course. Thx

    • Alex says:

      Hello Mark,

      I would recommend you first check the legal encyclopedia on breaking your lease (select your state and see the most up to date laws)

      https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/changing-breaking-your-lease

      In some states there is a law saying that your landlord is obligated to re-rent the place if you give him the needed notice prior to leaving the house.

      But here are some things to keep in mind:

      • You may still be responsible for the costs of advertising and showing the unit.
      • Your landlord must take reasonable steps to rerent, not heroic ones. He needn’t put your unit at the top of his list of properties to rent, and he doesn’t have to offer it for a song.
      • The landlord needn’t accept any old applicant who walks in the door. He’s entitled to be as choosy with the next tenant as he was with you.
 Still, you can help the situation a lot by offering your landlord a replacement tenant, someone who has the same good credit and rental history that you did (or better).
  101. Nikki Dee says:

    Hello, I am a month-to-month tenant. The landlord sold the building and ha owed me monies. I did not sign an estoppel and have been contacted by the new owners looking for rent. I told them that I was owed money by the previous owners and have deducted that from my rent. They said that have nothing to do with previous arrangements. I don’t believe that to be the case.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Nikkie,

      Can you please note under what circumstances did you the previous landlord owe you money? Was it some kind of a check for some services that he had to compensate and did not do it?

      Do you have any kind of written proof of your previous landlord not compensating you that sum of money?

  102. Carolyn Auer says:

    My landlord has a pending sale on the apartment building I live in. I do not want to live there under the new owners. He has told me I can go ahead and terminate my lease early. He then said he would keep my deposit. Can that be used as my last month’s rent? And shouldn’t that be returned since he has agreed to terminate my lease early?

    • Alex says:

      Hello Carolyn,

      The answer depends on the wording of your lease and the particular landlord-tenant laws in the state you live in. There is a chance that the early termination clause is included in the lease you signed, your landlord will be able not to give back the security deposit if you terminate the lease without following the established rules.

      An early termination clause could read something like this, for example:

      “If the tenant terminates the lease prior to the one-year lease agreement or does not give 30 days’ notice prior to moving out once the lease has gone month-to-month, the tenant is responsible for rent owed for the remainder of the lease. The landlord will deduct the amount owed from the tenant’s security deposit. If the security deposit does not include sufficient funds to cover the amount owed, the tenant is responsible for paying the additional money owed to the landlord for the remainder of the lease.”

      So answering your question, I would recommend you looking at your lease first. Also, did you landlord allow you to terminate your lease just on words or you have any agreement with him on this on paper?

      By the way, I would recommend you reading our article on the most common mistakes you can make when you rent a house.

  103. Lyssa Kay says:

    I live in California. My landlord sold my house to a person who is going to flip the house. My 1 year lease isn’t up until April 1st. I have not been given no notice to move. I have to get a notice right?

    • Alex says:

      Hello Lyssa,

      If your landlord wants you to move out prior to an official sale, he merely has to provide you with proper notice to end tenancy and move out on a specified date.

      Most states require a landlord to give a tenant anywhere from 30-60 notice informing a tenant that tenancy will end and they need to move out. Some cities have even more lenient timelines, for example, landlords in Portland, OR, must give their tenants 90-days notice to vacate.

      Your landlord can also sell the house with the active lease or terminate the agreement activating the termination clause. The clause should be mentioned in the contract, this is the amount of money that you, as a tenant, should get compensated by the landlord in case of early termination.

      There is no way he can terminate your lease after the home sale unless it’s stated in the lease agreement that he can.

      Please, review the agreement itself and, if needed, talk to the lawyer, to cover your back in this delicate situation.

  104. Stephanie Gyure says:

    The real estate agent wants to hold open house on Sundays ( I don’t know when yet), but there are a few Sundays when I cannot be home. Do I have to give him a key to show the house when I am gone? I really do not want strangers in my house when I am not there.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Stephanie,

      The info on the landlord’s access to the rental property varies from state to state. You can check the amount of notice required in non-emergency situations and prior to showing the property to prospects here by looking up your state on the list.

      You should also take a look at your lease agreement, cause it’s usually stated there that your landlord should give you a 24 or 48 hours notice and the Open Houses should be held during normal business hours. If this info is mentioned there, you are obligated to cooperate due to the fact that you signed this lease. But you can also try to find a common ground with your landlord on this if you are have good relationship with him/her

  105. Audery says:

    My landlord sold the building, gave me a 30 days notices on 2/2 to vacate the property by 2/28 when my lease is up. What if any rights do I have. Who can move in such a short period of time.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Audery,

      The lease termination notice period depends on the state law. Usually, it’s 30 days notice. You said that he gave you a notice on 2/2 to vacate the property by 2/28, that’s 26 days, so there may be a violation on his side.

      It would be much easier to give you the accurate info if you let me know where you’re located (state).

  106. Christina Britt says:

    Ok, I have a quick question and hope someone can answer. My husband and I have been renting a home for about 4 years, we have two small children. Our landlord went into foreclosure and the property was sold on 1/11/2018. The new owner had us sign a new lease for a year, which is fine. That way we are here for atleast a year without worry. Problem is do we have rights when it comes to the amount of investors and realtors, they are bringing into our home every week? Just went on the market a week ago, already have had 9 people through my home.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Christina,

      So you have a new house owner and you just signed a new year lease in January, 2018. Why is your new owner bringing realtors to your house, is the house on sale again?

  107. Lawrence Rock says:

    I live in California and have been renting a house for over two years. The owner is selling the house. Property mgmt states we have 60 days to move out. Do we pay rent for those 60 days (2 months) or would we save that money for the new place? If we do have to pay this rent, how do they expect a renter to save for a deposit and 1st months rent for a new place?
    Thank you.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Lawrence,

      Yes, you have to pay the rent as long as you live there. After you move out, your landlord is obligated to give back your security deposit (minus damage costs if applicable).

  108. Latasha Coleman says:

    What are my rights as far as showings for the property? I have had requests Monday-Sunday, mornings, afternoons, and evenings all odd hours. My lease ends September of 2019

    • Alex says:

      Hi,

      The info on the landlord’s access to the rental property varies from state to state. You can check the amount of notice required in non-emergency situations and prior to showing the property to prospects here by looking up your state on the list.

      But usually all these requests have to be during normal business hours. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘odd hours’, but that’s what should be kept in mind by both you and landlord. Also, check your lease agreement, cause this info is usually included there.

  109. Laura Vallieres says:

    How does this all work when the owner of the house deals with a property management company? We rented through the property management company signing a years lease and the owner of the home slapped a for sale sign up front 5 months later. Where do we stand as tenants?

    • Alex says:

      Hello Laura,

      There are a few options that you landlord can go with. He can either sell the house with the active lease or terminate the agreement activating the termination clause. The clause should be mentioned in the contract, this is the amount of money that you, as a tenant, should get compensated by the landlord in case of early termination.

      There is no way he can terminate your lease after the home sale unless it’s stated in the lease agreement that he can.

      Please, review the agreement itself and, if needed, talk to the lawyer, to cover your back in this delicate situation.

  110. Joanna Ramos says:

    What are my rights? Been living here 16 years, the owner says I have the first place if I agree to pay the appraisal estimate which was160,000.00 according to her cause the first appraisal was for 130,000.00 to high for all the fixings the house needs, but she sells the house for 122,000.00 to an investor.

    • Alex says:

      Hello Joanna,

      As far as I can understand, the property you’ve been renting for 16 years is now put up for sale and you’d like to purchase it for an adequate price. It does seem strange and unfair that the owner has two different price tags for you and an investor, but unfortunately, the decision is completely up to the owner and there is no law to affect this decision. The best strategy for you to follow is to try to negotiate a better deal or let it go and find yourself another property to purchase.

  111. Kellugs says:

    Hi ,

    What is the situation where the house has to be inspected, what are the tenants rights

    • Alex says:

      Hello Kellugs,

      Thanks for your question. As a tenant, you have the right to privacy and quiet enjoyment.

      In nearly all the cases, your landlord has to inform you about the upcoming inspection with an adequate prior notice. You have the right to know why and when the inspection will take place.

      Unless it is an emergency like fire or flood damage, your landlord must send you a written notice at least 24 hours before a planned visit. As a tenant, you have the right to be present during the inspection.

    • Garrett Baier Chamberlain says:

      I live in Arizona. I am having trouble with my tenant showing the place while I am sleeping. I work three nights a week and told him that he can’t show the house those three days. He agrees and then does it anyway. I don’t know what to do and I feel very powerless. If there is any advice to give it is appreciated.

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