If the house I’m renting a room in is sold prior to my lease termination, what are my rights are a renter with a rental agreement with the current owner of the home?

I am renting a room in a house along with 2 other people. The 2 others have month-to-month contracts and I have a 16 month contract while I’m in the area going to school (it ends in 9 months). The owner of the house is trying to sell the house (not to a new landlord but to an individual or family). Does my landlord have to buy out my agreement? Am I owed anything for their breach of our contract?

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The buyer of the property is generally required to honor the lease for its remaining term: the buyer acquires the property subject to the lease. That is because the seller cannot sell more rights than he or she has, and the rights to the home that the seller has include limitations on the landlord/seller's possesion, for the duration of the lease, because the landlord/seller has given up some of his/her possessory right to the tenant. 

The seller or new buyer may choose to offer you the chance to get out of the lease, and/or even offer you compensation or payment if you'll agree to terminate the lease early, but you would not have to accept that; it is something you and they can negotiate, if you want.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The buyer of the property is generally required to honor the lease for its remaining term: the buyer acquires the property subject to the lease. That is because the seller cannot sell more rights than he or she has, and the rights to the home that the seller has include limitations on the landlord/seller's possesion, for the duration of the lease, because the landlord/seller has given up some of his/her possessory right to the tenant. 

The seller or new buyer may choose to offer you the chance to get out of the lease, and/or even offer you compensation or payment if you'll agree to terminate the lease early, but you would not have to accept that; it is something you and they can negotiate, if you want.


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