133 views | 1 | Last updated on Nov 08, 2023 Landlord/Tenant Law
When a property changes ownership, the new owner is bound by the terms of the existing lease. If the lease does not say that it will end if the property is sold, the owner cannot remove the tenant or change the lease.
When the lease term expires, the new owner can choose to renew the lease, adjust the rent amount, and change the lease's terms.
If the landlord sells, dies, or transfers the property, the new owner has to honor your lease and any other agreement you made with the original owner or management, unless the lease agreement specifically states that the lease will terminate in such case.
For example, let's say a tenant signed a year-long lease and the property is sold six months later. Unless the lease says otherwise, the new owner must honor the lease for the remaining 6 months. If the lease agreement says that the new owner can end or change the lease, the tenant may have to move out or negotiate a new lease.
Be sure to read your lease agreement to see if it says what happens when a new owner takes over. We have more information about lease terminations on the Ending the Lease page of our Landlord/Tenant Law guide.
One important exception is if the property is sold at a foreclosure sale. If the buyer wants to move in, they may terminate the tenancy with a 90-day notice.
A federal law, Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, provides some protections for tenants renting a home that goes through foreclosure. We have more information on the Tenant Rights in a Foreclosure page of the Foreclosure guide.
The law can be complex, so you may wish to talk to an attorney before taking any action. For more information on finding an attorney, please see the library's Legal Help page.