Can I terminate my lease before term if the house I live in has been sold by my landlord?

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Can I terminate my lease before term if the house I live in has been sold by my landlord?

I currently have a 1 year lease of which I have spent 7 months. I have also paid first, last, and a month’s rent as security deposit. My landlord has sold the house and I want to know if I can terminate the lease and lawfully get the last month’s rent as well as security deposit back? Please throw some light on this issue. I will be really thankful.

Asked on February 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Selling a house does not terminate a lease--unless the lease itself says that it will, or may be, terminated in the event of a sale or change of ownership. Otherwise, the new buyer takes the house subject to the then-in-force lease, which means that your lease continues, for the balance of its term, with simply a new owner. Of course, the new owner does not have to rerent to you, or could change the amount of rent at renewal time, or could take the house out of rental entirely; and similarly, when the current lease is up, you could decide to not renew or attempt to negotiate different terms. However, for the the next five months, the lease will continue in force under the same terms (including payment of last month's rent) as you had signed with the now-former owner. At the lease's end, that's when you get your security back.


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