What are a tenant’s rights if the rental property is sold?

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What are a tenant’s rights if the rental property is sold?

My landlord sold the house that I’m currently leasing. Do I have to vacate the property? I have 6 months left on my 1 year lease. Also, can he continue to collect rent for the following month after he sold the house?

Asked on April 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A sale of rental property does not terminate an existing lease.  A buyer purchases such property "subject to" and any lease(s) in effect at the time of the sale.  That means that the buyer of a property with a tenant must honor a lease for the balance of the lease term (as long a the tenant is not in breach).  From a legal standpoint, a new landlord steps into the shoes of the old landlord.  The only way that a sale of a property would terminate a lease is if there was a clause in it allowing for this.  As for collecting rent after title to the property has passed, that would be illegal.

Note:  The security deposit is transferred to the new landlord who then has the obligation of returning it to the tenant the same as if they were the original landlord. 

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A sale of rental property does not terminate an existing lease.  A buyer purchases such property "subject to" and any lease(s) in effect at the time of the sale.  That means that the buyer of a property with a tenant must honor a lease for the balance of the lease term (as long a the tenant is not in breach).  From a legal standpoint, a new landlord steps into the shoes of the old landlord.  The only way that a sale of a property would terminate a lease is if there was a clause in it allowing for this.  As for collecting rent after title to the property has passed, that would be illegal.

Note:  The security deposit is transferred to the new landlord who then has the obligation of returning it to the tenant the same as if they were the original landlord. 


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