If our landlord sold house before our lease was up, can the new landlord make us move?

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If our landlord sold house before our lease was up, can the new landlord make us move?

We had a 2 year verbal lease on a house and 11 months into the lease, we were told that we have to move in 30 days because the house was sold. Prior to moving in, I specifically asked if he planned on selling the house because I wanted to avoid this and he was the one that insisted that the lease would be for 2 years. The landlord did not even tell us, the people that bought the house did. Can I file a suit for the inconvenience, the additional deposits, etc?

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, in this case under and these circumstances, your 30-day notice to terminate is valid.  

A lease is a contract, and oral contracts generally are enforceable.  However, certain oral contracts for an interest in real property are treated differently.  In TX, the landlord-tenant relationship is governed under both statute and court decision. Specifically, state law does not require that leases be written.  However, in the absence of a writing that establishes a length of the lease, TX courts have ruled that verbal leases are either month-to-month or week-to-week, depending on how frequently the tenant pays rent. Therefore, you are a month-to-month tenant; you do not have a 2 year lease.

Additionally, I will assume that you pay monthly which is a more typical rental arrangement. That being the case, there are different notification requirements for month-to-month verbal leases than written leases. Month-to-month leases continue until either you or the landlord provides a notice of termination. Typically 30 days notice is required. While a termination notice would preferably be delivered in writing, verbal notice is also allowed by law. 


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