What rights do I have as a landlord?

I have a commercial building which I rented out space to for a 5 year lease contract. The business sold it to one of his employees, he has changed the name of the business is he still liable for the lease that was signed with me. Neither seller or the buyer discussed any thing with me about agreements between them 2. The business has been in my building for for 10 months can I hold the new owner to the 5 year lease that was signed.

Asked on December 7, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It depends on who signed the lease and how the business was sold. The person or business who signed the lease is liable under it. Here are the scenarios:
1) The lease was signed by an LLC or corporation and the employee bought the LLC or corporation--since the tenant is still the original LLC/corporation, the tenant is still liable.
2) The lease was signed by an LLC or corporation, but the employee bought the assets of the business, not the actual LLC or corporation: the original LLC or corporation is still liable, unless the employee also took "assignment of" or took over the lease voluntarily. If the employee/new owner did, he is liable under the lease; if not, the original LLC or corporation is still liable for the rent under the lease, and the new business/owner has to sign a new lease with you or you can remove him as not having a lease and so no right to be there.
3) The lease was signed by the original owner personally, not by an LLC or corporation. The original owner is still liable, unless the employee also took "assignment of" or took over the lease voluntarily. If the employee/new owner did, he is liable under the lease; if not, the original owner is still liable for the rent under the lease, and the new business/owner has to sign a new lease with you or you can remove him as not having a lease and so no right to be there.


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