If you're renting a property that your landlord has decided to list on the market for sale, you may feel lost and confused. After all, you're paying to live there while your landlord is trying to sell the property to someone else - what does this mean for you?
As a landlord who rightfully owns the property, they can list the home or building whenever they want to. While they can put the house up for sale, that doesn't mean they can simply kick you out on the street right away. As a tenant, you have rights. Here's what you need to know when your landlord is selling the home you're currently living in.
Do I have to move once the house is sold?
While you'll have to leave eventually, you may not have to vacate the premises immediately. In some cases, your landlord will look for a buyer who is still interested in leasing the property and willing to sign a new lease after the house sells. Talk with your current landlord to see what their plan is, and have conversations with their prospective buyers if you can. If it's not in the new owner's plan to rent the property, you'll have to find a new place to live. Starting those conversations sooner rather than later will help if that's the case!
When do I have to move?
In most states, if you are renting on a month-to-month basis, your landlord has to give you a written notice 30 days in advance of them selling the property. Some states have different laws, so it's important to find how your state handles these situations. For example, in Seattle, renters have to be warned 60 days in advance. If your lease was signed for a longer period of time (1 year, 2 years, etc.) you'll most likely have the right to stay there until your lease is up. Regardless of whether or not the house sells in that time, the new owner has to honor your contract.
Is there anything about the landlord selling the property on my lease?
Your contract might contain a "lease termination due to sale" clause. Look closely at your contract before you sign it. This clause could state that the lease is terminated in the event of the house selling and you have 30 days to vacate, regardless of how long you had left on your lease.
Can I receive any money for my lease being terminated early?
It's rare, but in some cases, you can receive a relocation allowance from your landlord. Look into your state's landlord and tenant laws to find out if you are owed any money in this situation.
What do I do if my landlord stops my amenities?
Your landlord still has to abide by your basic rights as a tenant, even if they're selling the home. They cannot suspend your services, enter your apartment without your permission, or have work done on the apartment at ridiculous hours. If you feel like your landlord is violating your rights at any time, you can contact your local housing authority to get help.
Will I get my security deposit back if my landlord is selling the house?
Your landlord is legally required to give your security deposit back after you move, barring theirs nothing wrong with the apartment. Laws vary by state, but you should receive your security deposit within 14 to 60 days after you vacate the property.
If your landlord is selling the home you're renting out of, you're still entitled to your rights as a renter. When it comes time to move out, make sure you take everything with you, clean the space, and return the keys to the landlord (be they current or new). Stay tuned to Whose Your Landlord for more information on dealing with these types of hairy situations.