Rentals in 01854>Question Details

Sorrel3a…, Home Buyer in 07109

Can new owner break the lease with the current tenants?

Asked by Sorrel3a Sorrel, 07109 Sun Mar 28, 2010

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No - The tenant's rights survive the settlement and sale of the property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 28, 2010
Anyone can break any contract - IF the two parties agree in writing (in this state of MA), and it may cost you - assuming you're the landlord. Everything has a price which is where the "cash for keys" offer, mentioned by Tom, may come in handy. If, as Chris mentions, there is already a provision in the existing lease, you would need to abide by what has been written. Otherwise, the two parties may come to a new agreement, and set that down in writing accordingly. If your question is just in general terms where a new owner (after Closing) just wants a tenant out, but the tenant has a written lease, and has not broken that lease already, then, as Kevin states, the short answer is "no." Any new owner (again, after Closing) would be wise to ask for copies of leases directly from the tenant, and copies of rent rolls and security deposit from the previous landlord. Tenants may also have copies of canceled checks, so that is also helpful. If neither the tenants nor the previous landlord cannot produce anything in writing, then the question of whether there is a valid lease in place is raised. Again, if you're a potential landlord, and depending on how good a deal is, it would be better to ask for these items prior to purchasing and Closing on the property. But, if the deal is an absolute steal, and is just too good to pass up, then it would be wise to keep some liquid cash available to persuade someone to leave sooner rather than later, or get ready to pay an attorney a retainer for the possible eviction process. It all depends on the two parties involved, and whether they are willing to put their new agreement in writing - even if that includes moving out. It is wise to check with your attorney on these matters because even one small detail can change things. So, if this was a general question because you're thinking of becoming a landlord, there are many good books out there, and some are even specific enough to discuss the laws of the state you're in. Further, you can also brush up on landlord and tenant's rights by conducting good research in your state and using your state's resources. If, however, you're a tenant who cannot come to an agreement with the new landlord, the same generally applies. Look up Tenant's Rights in your state, but if you have nothing in writing, and especially if you're not paying your rent or have broken your lease in any way, then it would be wise to make plans to move - because move, you will, one way or the other. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 24, 2013
No... you can choose not to renew the lease, the current lease cannot be broken.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2012
If the tenants are paying as required most leases and most states require new owners to honor existing leases. You should have an attorney review your lease and inform you of specific Massachusetts landlord regulations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2012
First, check the lease to see if it contains a provision relating to the sale of the property, because it is possible the seller anticipated the sale so had it covered in the lease. If it is not covered in the lease, see your lease term so you know the expiration date to see if you may now be a tenant at will. If you are still covered under the lease without any provision related to the sale then your lease shall survive the sale. You should seek guidance from an attorney who can guide you on the specific issues that relate to you and your lease.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2012
The short answer is no.

There are circumstances in a foreclosure where an owner who as bought as an owner occupant can evict lawfully.

Also, if you have violated the terms of any lease of course you can be evicted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 29, 2012
The lease continues under the new owner. Also, any security deposits or rent deposits collected under the lease become the responsibility of the new owner. If you're buying a property with tenants, be certain that all outstanding deposits are also transferred to your custodianship at the sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
No. In Massachusetts leases survive conveyance. Frankly I am surprised your broker did not address this when you were purchasing the property. One item that I have found to get people out that you don't want is to offer them monies so they can afford to move. When we have squatters we use the term cash for keys. You can apply the same practice with getting leased tenants out. I would have an attorney draw a doc that states for cash consideration the tenants are voiding the lease. Hope this is helpful. Best
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Only if the new owner is a bank. For some reason foreclosures seem to be able to kick out tenants. No one else can. Also, make sure you can kick them out at the end of the lease. State (or local) law may not allow you to stop being a landlord. Check with a lawyer first to avoid problems.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 28, 2010
The lease is purchased with the property and the new owner is bound by the terms. It may be possible to negotiate an out with the tenant but that would be up to that person. It might require helping the current renter find a new home and move or even a monetary payment. Whatever the case, never make threats or try to intimidate the renter. Since rental laws are strong and vary from state to state, it probably would be best to ask your attorney for advice, or even have the lawyer handle any possible negotiations.

Ron Rovtar
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 28, 2010
Gerard's correct. The lease continues in effect, per the terms and conditions of the lease.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 28, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
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