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

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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