Can a lease becanceled by a landlordafter it has been signed but before the tenant takes possession?

I singed a lease with the landlord last week that was to start next week. I agreed to buy paint and paint the inside. After painting almost the entire inside of the house this past weekend she informed me today that she has changed her mind about renting the house to me. She said she has a bad feeling (even though she got an excellent rental reference for me). Do I have any rights in this situation? We have given notice to our former landlord which is and have to be out this weekend. All the arrangements have been made for my wife and our belongings to be here this weekend from another state

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord's "bad feelings" are completely irrelevant, except in the situation described below. Apart from that, she is contractually obligated to lease the premises to you--since that is what a lease is; a contract--as long as you have honored your obligations under the lease (e.g. paid whatever you're supposed to pay, on time). Once the lease is signed, neither the landlord nor the tenant can simply decide to cancel it.

The exception would be if the lease itself provided that the landlord could cancel it under certain circumstances or with certain notice. If it did, and she complied with those conditions, then that term is enforceable and she could terminate the lease.


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