Home Selling in Washington>Question Details

Heidi, Renter in Washington

Does a Landlord break a lease agreement when they decide to sell the rental property?

Asked by Heidi, Washington Sat Sep 17, 2011

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11
You have already gotten the right answer. Just look at your lease & cooperate with the landlord as much as you can. Better to keep things cordial & smooth.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
When a landlord sells a rental property whoever is the new owner must honor your existing lease agreement. If you have any other questions you can e-mail me at apicard@betterproperties.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Typically no.... The lease just transfers to the new owner.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 20, 2011
The definitive answer is in your lease, as the others have answered.

I'm not a lawyer, so what follows is not legal advice. However . . .

However, often and in general, the answer to your question is: No. The landlord isn't breaking the lease by selling.

What generally applies--unless the lease specifies something different--is that the lease agreement continues to apply both to you and to the new owner.

Example: You signed a 1-year lease on June 1, 2011. Again--assuming the lease doesn't provide otherwise--you've got a valid lease until May 31, 2012. And if the landlord sells the property to someone else before May 31, 2012, that new owner is obligated to fulfill the terms of the existing lease. The lease still runs to May 31; the amount you pay is unchanged.

And--also very important for you--any security deposit you gave to the previous landlord must be returned to you by the NEW landlord. (Sometimes people who purchase rental properties forget to make sure that such deposits are transferred over to them.)

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 18, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
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Heidi,

It depends on what the lease says. A standard lease will say that the tenant has the right to 30 or 60 days notice before having to move out. If the landlord gives you this much notice, then he is within his rights (if that is what the lease says). There is a chance that the new owner will want to keep the tenant in the property, such as if he or she is purchasing as a rental property and would be searching for a tenant anyway. If the new owner wants to make it his or her own residence, then they will have to give the appropriate amount of notice, per the lease agreement, and then you'll have to move out. Good luck, Heidi!

Kim Boulter
Healthy Realty
843-640-7799
kimkboulter@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
You may want to do a search for Renter's rights in the State of Washington. Here in California, we have pretty clear laws on what days and times renters have to let showing agents through, and they can also exercise their rights over public open houses, etc. Many landlords in our area, the South Bay of Los Angeles, will offer renters a discount on their rent if the renters agree to allow a lockbox, open houses, weekend showings, etc. It might be worth negotiating with your landlord to ease the burden of access while going through the sale process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
You would need to refer to your contract Heidi
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Heidi...the answer really lies in your lease agreement. If it is silent regarding this issue, the landlord/tenant laws would seem to be 'second in line'...It would seem a reasonable notice (30 day) would be required if either the new owner or you wish to break the lease....a real estate attorney in Wa can provide further information for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
It depends on how the lease is written. Most leasses provide the language that stipulate the terms of the contract and specifically, if the home sells. It may be, depending on your laws, the fact that the new ower must honor your lease. I would check with your agent and an attorney if required.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Much will depend on your lease agreement, therefore review the document for the information...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Heidi,
Start by reviewing your lease. Many leases will anticipate the possibility and explain what both parties rolls are in selling the rental. If your lease does not include anything about this, review the Landlord Tenant Law of Washington, I've included a link below.
As an agent, we are familiar with leases, but we are not attorneys. You may want to check with the State Attorney General's Office on Monday to understand your rights and obligations further. Sorry for your situation.
You can also just ask to get out of the lease if that is your intention. Vacant properties sell easier than tenant occupied.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
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