What happens if my landlord is selling our rental property to someone who wants to in the unit we live in?

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What happens if my landlord is selling our rental property to someone who wants to in the unit we live in?

We have a lease with 5 1/2 months left. Does the buyer have to honor the current lease when they take over ownership. How much notice are we to be given, and when is the soonest they are allowed to give it to us, as to when we are expected to vacate the property. Also, we are currently paid to take care of the property each month – yard mowing and snow removal. Will that carry over with the new landlord too?

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When a property is sold, the buyer takes it subject to all leases--that is, the buyer becomes your new landlord, and is contractually obligated to your lease. Therefore, if you still have 5 1/2 months left on your lease, the buyer may not make you vacate before that time, unless you give him grounds to evict you (e.g. you don't pay rent--you will pay to the buyer once he closes on the property). He can certainly offer to make it worth your while to move early, such as by paying moving costs and part of your rent elsewhere, but it would be up to  you whether to accept any such offers. Once your current lease is up, he would not have to renew it, however.

As to the work you are paid to do--if that's in the lease, it will be binding on the new landlord. If it's just an oral arrangement between you and the current landlord, then the new landlord would not have to continue it, though he is certainly free to do so.


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