Must we really vacate our rental on only 3 weeks?

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Must we really vacate our rental on only 3 weeks?

Our landlord’s house is going through a deed in lieu. He did notify us 5 months ago and has not charged rent. However, we became responsible for all maintenance and have since replaced some expensive items in the home. He is now telling us that we only have 3 weeks to pack a 4 bedroom house and find a new place and move. It seems very short notice. When he originally advised us of the deed in lieu, I asked him to please give us 3 months notice before anything official would happen.

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Selling a house--or transferring it voluntarily by a deed in lieu--does not end a tenancy or terminate a lease--the home is sold or transferred subject to existing leases. Only a foreclosure actually terminates tenancies.

Therefore, if you have a written lease and have been paying on time and otherwise honoring its terms, then you cannot be evicted until the expiration of the lease.

If you have an oral lease, then you are a month-to-month tenant, and you must be given a month's notice.

Note that even were the house to be foreclosed upon, under laws protecting tenants in this situation, it is highly likely that you could stay at least 90 days post-foreclosure.

The landlord is free, of course, to offer you something ("key money") to terminate your tenancy early.


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