If an apartment complex doesn’t uphold their end of the lease and then sells the complex to another owner, does the new owner still have to uphold the lease?

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If an apartment complex doesn’t uphold their end of the lease and then sells the complex to another owner, does the new owner still have to uphold the lease?

We have been at this apartment complex for the year lease that we signed a contract for. In the lease it does state that we are to give 60 day notice before vacating whether our lease is already up or not. They also want to charge us an extra $150 for the months we went over our lease. We has a lot of problems with this apartment. No heat all winter, neighbors, dirty common areas so we asked if we could leave after 30 day notice and they could just keep our deposit which is $800. They said no that we had to pay through the full 60 days and when i brought up the problems we had they told me they were contractually obligated for anything that happen prior to them purchasing the rental properties the former owner sold the complex about 8 months into our lease. So are they are contractually obligated to me; am I to them?

Asked on June 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) When a building is sold (as opposed to being foreclosed upon) all leases remain in force; the new owner becomes ("steps into the shoes of") the former owner; and the tenant and new owner are bound by all the terms of the contract. Both parties have to comply with the terms of the contract, including notice provisions.

2) You cannot hold breaches of the contract (including of implied covenants to it; see below) by the former owner against the new owner, however--it may be that you would have had grounds to terminate the lease or sue for damages, such as for violations of the "implied warranty of habitability" (the legal obligation that rental premises be "fit for their intended purpose") against the former owner, but if you did not, you cannot immediately take action for those breaches against the new owner. Instead, the new owner must be provided notice of any problems and a reasonable chance to "cure," or correct, them first.


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