Post # 1
Our landlord just informed us that he’s planning to sell the house we live in. We’re on a month-to-month lease and were planning to move in May or June. It would be really inconvenient to have to move earlier than that.
If the house sells soon, could the new owner kick us out right away? Will he make us sign a new lease? Or raise our rent? What happens to our security deposit?
I know it probably varies from state to state (we’re in PA), but I’m just curious if anyone has been in this situation before. Obviously, I need to talk this all over with my landlord… Can you think of any questions I need to ask that I didn’t list here?
Post # 3
I would imagine the new owners can do whatever they want with their property but hopefully your landlord has informed them of your lease terms and the’ll be willing to work with you. You need to talk to your landlord to really be sure.
Post # 4
You need to check what you lease says about notice. I think they have to give you 60 days notice when they are kicking you out (as long as you haven’t broken your lease in anyway).
You can also check with your landlord to see if they are selling it as a rental property or not that will give you an idea if you are getting new landlords or not.
If they are selling it as a rental property I don’t know how the lease transfer works (or if it can be transfered) so I would definitely ask about that!
Post # 5
It’s a bit unethical but you can always squat. I’d start looking for places to live, but your landlord would have to have you evicted, and the eviction process is kind of brutal. Rental laws are almost always on the side of the renter instead of the landlord (to prevent people from being shoved into the streets with only a week’s notice or something like that).
I know in the state where I live he wouldn’t even be able to sell the house until you’d been squared away, and what buyer is going to buy a house with unwanted renters? “This house is great, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and there are people living in it now who will be your problem once you buy it!” isn’t the best sales pitch.
Do what PPs suggested and check your lease to see how much notice (written notice) you need from your landlord. Does your landlord have any other properties that he can rent to you? Or know of any places for you to move to with similar terms? Is your landlord willing to give you back your full security deposit for the inconvenience and prorate you rent for the rest of the month that you’re not living there when you move? Does he need you to keep your place at a certain level of cleanliness because potential buyers will be going through? If so, is he willing to insure your property in case of theft? Do you even give him permission to take other people through your home while you are living there?
Selling a house means showing a house, especially when potential buyers know that a place has been a rental property and could have been abused by people with no monetary stake in the house beyond the security deposit.
Post # 6
I have been in this situation but we were in a year lease and the landlord let us out a month early because of the inconvience. It was rather irritating to show the house at a moment’s notice and I even had people knocking on the door when they had no appointment that I was aware of while we were sleeping. That went on for a couple of months before I just told the landlord we were moving out a month early. However in your case as it is a month to month they could literally tell you to move at any time. To reduce any further stress if I were you I would move out now and give yourself less to deal with. If the house we were in had sold before our lease was up we would legally be allowed to stay in the house until the end of our lease and just be paying the new owners rent. In your case though I do not believe you have this kind of protection. Goodluck hope it all works out for you.
Post # 7
We went through this as well. We had lived in the house three years and for the last year it was for sale. We put up with random or “24” hr walk throughs all the time. I hated it but we didn’t worry because it wasn’t selling. Then suddenly it sold and I had a panic attack because we had two year old and had reached month to month lease status. Talk to your current landlord. Ours was nice enough to add into the sale contract that we couldn’t be evicted for at least six months but were not obligated to sign a new lease.
My parents wete given a 40 day notice in november (on their anniversary no less) after 10 years. Apparently their landlord broke up with her gf and “needs a place to live for a few months”. All depends on your landlord i guess. We are in Lancaster. Not sureoff the laws but good luck. I hope it works out.
Post # 8
I live in WI… when this happened to us (me and some college students who were going to be roommates) and our lease was still completely valid. Actually, the sale happened before we’d even moved in- but after the lease was signed. The new owner was also using the property as rental- if that’s the case you’re in luck. They’d have to give you some sort of notice (whatever your lease says) to raise the rent or ask you to leave. I would assume the same would apply even if the buyer wants to actually live there and not rent out.
In our case, the new owner tried to raise our rent and our monthly parking fee, as well as do some renovations on the house that would mean we couldn’t move in for two extra weeks- not an option. We sat down and said we were prepared to take legal action through our college if she didn’t follow our valid lease. In the end she worked with us and didn’t change our lease at all- most landlords (and anyone, really) would want to avoid legal issues and a bad reputation.
ETA: Also, do you know what the current policy is for your landlord to enter your home? Most leases include that they have to give 12 or 24 hour notice before showing your apartment or entering unless it’s an emergency… I think you’d have to get some sort of advance notice before they show your place to potential buyers.
Post # 9
Thanks for all the input guys!
I should have specified that the house is a duplex with both apartments occupied right now. From scanning our lease I couldn’t find anything about the owner selling the house and what our rights would be in that case.
The guy who came to look at the house yesterday seemed nice, so hopefully we won’t have any issues… Our landlord is selling all of his rental properties because he’s moving out of state. I asked him if he would put something in the contract to sell that said we could stay until May… He was non-commital but said he would mention it to the buyer. I’m hoping the buyer is just looking at the house as a rental unit and not to live in himself, but we’ll see.
We just don’t want to move because my husband is graduating in May and we hope to move out of state then. But if we have to move now, we’ll have to sign another year-long lease (that’s basically all that’s available in our area) which would severly limit his job search.
I know it will all work out, I just hate being in flux. The place we live in has some major cosmetic issues (poorly patched drywall, damaged flooring, etc) that I don’t want to get blamed for because it was that way when we moved in.
Our landlord has always been great about giving us 24 hrs notice before coming over, so I’m not worried about that.
Thank you all for easing my fears a little bit 🙂
Post # 10
1.Review your lease to see if it included a waiver of required notice clause. It is legal to have this clause included in Pennsylvania. If you have that clause and you signed the lease with that clause, basically it means that you agreed that the landlord does not have to give you the notice that he is normally required to give in the Pennsylvania Landlord and Tenant Act.
2. Read the Act to see what the legislation is in your state.
3. I hope you took pics and documented the condition of the place when you moved in.
Post # 11
That has happened to me (I’m in Ontario, Canada). Legally, this is what I was told:
-since I was also month-to-month, they only had to give me 30 days notice to move out.
-the new people buying the house might sign a paper saying they will keep you as tenants, but it would not be legally binding
-the new people buying the house can do whatever they want in terms of rent, rules (i.e. take away parking), etc. Being that it is a new owner, it would require a new lease.
The situation I was in, the landlords ended up being crazy and I moved out. They basically tried to drive me out to sell the hous eand it wasn’t worth the hassle.
Post # 12
I’ve been in that situation before and we’ve always moved when the new landlord took over. Like you though, we were on month to month leases at that point as we had lived in the houses for more than a year and wanted the flexibility to leave when we wanted.
It’s my general understanding that if you have an existing lease (not month to month), the new landlord is supposed to honor it, but if you’re on month to month, they certainly don’t have to give you any more than 30 days notice.
It’s also been my experience from both sides of this situation that most new landlords like to renovate their properties after purchasing so they can increase the rent and make a profit on their new investment. Your old landlord won’t have any say in getting the new landlord to agree to keep you there until May but hopefully your new landlord is understanding and allows some flexibility. Good luck! If nothing else works out, see if you can’t sublet a place for the remainder of the semester. There are bound to be some people who aren’t returning for second semester for whatever reason (study abroad, illness, personal circumstances, whatever) who will need someone to take over their apt.
Sidenote: My experiences have all been in the UK but I don’t get the impression it’s terribly different in the US – I could be wrong though.
Post # 13
Unfortunately, with a month-to-month lease, the owners (or you) are generally only required to give one month’s notice. Check your lease to be sure, but generally that’s the point of this type of lease. It’s easy for both parties to end the landlord-tenant relationship. If the new owner isn’t interested in adopting the lease, you would have to move. Eviction laws in all states are not necessarily favorable to the lessee (you). Of course notice is required, but in some states, after notice, if you don’t move out the landlord can have the locks changed, have the sheriff remove you, etc. If I were you, I would start looking now.
Post # 14
I bought an apartment that was occupied by a renter. You have to wait until the lease is up to kick the tenant out, but in my case the lease was up in October and the previous owner gave the tenant tons of notice that the lease wouldn’t be renewed. Our offer was accepted in October (which is probably why the seller got moving around then) so by the time we closed the renter had been out for 2 months. Honestly I wouldn’t have ever made an offer on the place if I thought the tenant would be able to stay longer than October, because it’s our primary residence!