How long do we have to vacate a rental home that is being surrendered in a Chapter 7?

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How long do we have to vacate a rental home that is being surrendered in a Chapter 7?

We were told yesterday that we had to vacate our rental home within 30 days. Our 1 year lease lapsed in 10/10 and we are current/never late with the rent. The owners are surrendering this home in a Chapter 7. We need to know if we have any rights?

Asked on February 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, once the owners no longer own the home, you will have no right to remain there. While if they sold it to someone else, the buyer would take the home subject to your lease, if ownership is lost in a bankrutpcy (or foreclosure), it terminates any leases with the now-former owners.

However, if you had a written lease, you wouldn't need to go any earlier than the owner's ownership actually being terminated--i.e. you don't have to get out early, even if it's convenient for them. So you had a written lease, you could wait until the home is actually given up.

On the other hand, you indicate that your lease had lapsed. That presumably means you're now a month to month tenant on a verbal or oral lease. If that's the case, then regardless of bankruptcy, foreclosure, etc., the owner may terminate your tenancy at any time, for any reason, on 30 days notice--just like you could move out legally on 30 days notice. Therefore, if there is no written lease, the owner can give you 30 days notice to leave, and if you don't, bring eviction proceedings against you. Eviction usually takes 3 -  6 weeks, depending in part on how busy your local courts are.


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