But I agree with below, signing a lease protects you as well as the landlord. Even a tenant at will lease.
Thanks, and good luck,
Absent a formal lease agreement, the assumption in most states is that you and the property owner have agreed to a month-to-month rent on the home. As a result, provided you were given at least 30 days notice of an impending sale, you will be required to vacate the property at the end of the 30 day period. In most cases, a home sells better occupied than vacant, so the landlord is likely to allow you to stay for a bit while the home is up for sale, but you will be required to leave on the date when noted by your landlord. Provided that the home is left in good condition, you will be entitled to the return of your security deposit. Otherwise, should you choose to violate your month-to-month rental agreement and remain on the property past the vacancy date, you may be responsible for all legal charges associated with your eviction, so I would not chance this. Remember, your actions now may have consequences in trying to rent another home in the future.
Your best bet is to cooperate and to be prepared to move upon sale and close of escrow. In the future, if you wish to secure a more permanent rental, be prepared to sign a one year lease, which will entitle you to lease the unit for one year and, should the home be sold before that time, you might (if you word the lease correctly) be entitled to the moving expenses to vacate the premises.
Good luck!! For more information about your renter's rights in your state, contact your local real estate attorney.
Grace Morioka, SRES, ePro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
Since you knew ahead of time that your landlord was selling the house, the only money you may be entitled to is your security deposit if in fact the property is not damaged. Why would you want the new owner or existing one to go through the eviction process? First of all, you would want to be able to give your new landlord your previous landlords name and phone number so you could get a good reference. Having the landlord evict you will go on your credit report, and make it that much harder for you to get a good reference. Taking you to court for the eviction process is one way to handle getting you out of there, but, I would recommend meeting the new landlord and asking if you can sign a new lease with him,and make sure you pay on time. As a landlord the laws are different in each state, however whenever you dig your heels in and play tough, the landlord will take on a tough attitude as well. It is human nature for people to react the same way they have are being treated. It is much easier to be nice and polite than difficult and defensive. Good Luck