Can a landlord transfer a lease on a sold home?

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Can a landlord transfer a lease on a sold home?

I am in the process of buying a home that has a rental tenant with a lease that expires in 6 months. Can the existing owner simply assign/transfer the lease rights to me or do I need to write a new lease with the existing tenant? The lease agreement does not mention transfer/assignment by the landlord (although it does mention the usual for the tenant).

Asked on February 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Typically, a homeowner may assign any leases on the home when he or she sells the home. Indeed, you may not buy the home without honoring the lease! (i.e. you can't kick the tenant out in the middle of the lease  term even if you want to.) If the lease had terms stating that it was terminated by a sale of the home, that would certainly be a different matter, and then you and the new tenant would have to negotiate a new lease (or not). However, in this case, the lease may be, and effectively must be, assigned to you. As a general matter, most contracts that are not for personal services (e.g. employment contracts) are assignable unless there is language specifically to the contrary.


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