If my landlord fell 3 years behind on taxes, is it legal if I was given only a 20-day notice to vacate because they want to sell?

I am renting a home through a 12 month lease which ends in about 4 months. Approximately 10 days ago my landlord had someone deliver a letter to my door stating that he is terminating our lease. I found out on my own that the reason is due to the fact that he is 3 years behind on taxes for the house and that he is selling it. He gave me a 20-day notice to vacate. My wife and I are both disabled and on a small fixed income (not sure if Section 8 would have any importance?).

Asked on March 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, he can not terminate the lease unless it so states in your agreement.  And 20 days notice is all around a bad number.  You are protected here on a number of fronts.  First, purchasers puchase subject to the agreements already in place.  That means the new owners are stuck with you and your lease.  If he is trying to "deliver it vacant" then he has a big problem that may be an advantage to you.  He may want you out at any cost so that means that you can negotiate to have him pay for your moving expenses or the cost of fnding a new apartment.  Make sure that you also have a formal written termiantion of the lease signed by him.  You are also protected becuase you are disabled.  So I would speak with a tenant's rights group and an attorney in your area.  Good luck.  

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