What happens if the Landlord wants to sell the home I'm renting mid-lease?

While it is very unlikely, it is possible that the owner of the home you are renting may want or need to sell while you are still living in the property. Even if there is an active and legally binding lease in place. Again, it is rare, but it can happen. 

The question for our residents becomes, "What happens if the home is sold while I'm living in the property with an active lease?" 

First off, a lease gives the tenant an interest in a property. And, when an owner sells the property, the lease is transferred to the new owner and the sale has no effect on the lease. The new owner must abide by the terms of the lease in the same way as the former landlord. So, in those terms, there is effectively no change to the tenants when the property is sold. And, in most cases, when the new owner is buying a property with a tenant already living in the property, it is most likely the new owner's intent to continue to own the home as a rental and continue to rent to high-quality residents. 

However, it is possible that the new owner purchased the home with the intent to live in the property. And, if that is their intent, then the new owner must abide by the lease terms and put the tenant on notice, per the terms set out in the lease (typically 30-90 days before the lease expiration date), that they are choosing to end the lease at its stated lease expiration date. The tenants would then be obligated to peacefully return possession on the last day of the lease. It is also possible for the two parties to negotiate new terms which may be more favorable and mutually acceptable to both parties. If that is possible, and both parties can agree on new terms, then the new terms should be written up in an addendum to the original lease and both parties would sign and make the new terms binding. Often, the tenants may have wanted to end the lease early anyway so this can work out as a win-win for both parties. 

Now, if you are on a month-to-month rental agreement where either party can end the agreement with as little as a 30-day notice. Then if the property is sold, the new owner has the right to give the residents a 30-day notice and the residents would be required to return possession in that period. This is why annual leases offer tenants a little more protection from being told they have to move within a relatively short period of time. But, on the flip side of that, a month-to-month rental agreement offers the resident the flexibility to move without penalty with as little as a 30-day notice to the landlord, so there are trade-offs both ways, etc.  

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding what happens when a property is sold while tenants are still living in the property, please feel free to contact us at info@qwestpm.com. - Thank you!