Must we really vacate our rental on only 3 weeks?

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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