Does a tenant have a legal right to break the lease if the rental is put up for sale after only 4 months of living there?

Only 4 months into my lease of a farmhouse on 5.5 acres, my landlord called me to say he really needed to sell the farm. I told him to go ahead and do whatever he needed to do. After 3 months of dealing with countless realtors and clients going through my house, constant worry about having to move again, and finding out someone had just put a contract on the farm, I told him that I would be moving to a new home. He is balking at refunding my prepaid rent, deposit, and agreed remodeling expenses. This is causing me great financial difficulties.

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, the mere fact of the home being sold does not allow you to terminate your lease; you may only terminate it if the landlord does something to violate his obligations under the lease or deny you possession of the home. However, selling the house, without more, does not terminate or change your lease; rather, the new buyer has to take or purchase the home subject to the lease, and honor it as if he or she were the original landlord. Your lease should remain in effect, and so, therefore, should your obligations under it.

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