Rentals in Jersey City>Question Details

Katie B, Renter in New York, NY

What are my rights as a tenant when my landlord wants to sell my unit mid-lease?

Asked by Katie B, New York, NY Wed Sep 11, 2013

Hi. I'm currently in a one-year lease (ending Dec 31), and have had no problems with my landlord/building. Recently, my landlord told me he's planning to list my apartment for sale, and is working with an agent who wants to begin showing my apartment immediately. However, with 3 months left on my lease, I don't feel like it's acceptable to ask me to allow frequent showings/open houses. I've reviewed my lease and there is nothing about open houses. The lease does say that the landlord must give me 5 days notice before entering the property for any reason, including to show the unit to prospective buyers or tenants. However, there are no details as far as how soon in advance of the expiration of my lease they can begin these showings. I've heard people say 6 weeks-2 months is typical. Is it reasonable to say no showings until we're closer to the lease end? I want to be fair but also want to ensure peace and quiet while I'm living there. Are there laws about this? Any advice? Thanks!

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first of all who ever becomes the new owner of the property is required to honor your lease until the end of December. You have to read your lease because many of them include a clause that if the property is intended to be sold the tenant must allow reasonable access to potential buyers during the process. The listing agent, if it is currently listed, should have at least spoken to you with the landlord permission to determine what was reasonable timing to call you to set up an appointment to show the property ...basically as a common courtesy to you since you do live there. I have listed homes for sale that were rented many times and always make sure I speak to the tenant to develop a rapport and find out the best possible compromise for showing the property while the tenant still lives there.
since I am typing this from my phone I don't have access to the proper link but if you google search NJ Truth in Renting Brochure you can get a better idea of your rights as a tenant.
I think you are confusing the 90 day rule which applies to the landlord informing the tenant within 90 days of lease end whether or not hey're going to renew lease , as opposed to the ownrt selling the property which common sense will tell you should begin as soon as the home is listed for sale.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 12, 2013
You are confusing the issue. Your landlord can show the unit for sale at any time. A buyer can come in and buy it while you are living there. However, the new owner must honor your lease until expiration. Then, if he/she wants to move in, you must be given notice and the new owner can take occupancy at the end of your lease.
The people told you about showings being 6 weeks to 2 months are probably thinking that the landlord needs that amount of time to get a new tenant. That is not the issue here. He is not looking for a new tenant, but a new owner and as soon as a property is listed, it needs to be shown.
As far as open houses and showings go, you need to read your lease for guidance.
If you would like a copy of the NJ landlord/tenant handbook, contact me and I can forward it to you.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Hi Katie,

First of all, I am sorry that you are having to go through this. As this is truly a legal question, the Real Estate community cannot give you any advice on your legal rights unless, of course, they are an attorney.

With that said, it all comes down to what is written in the Lease as this is the "Legal Agreement' between you and the landlord, however, only an attorney can provide you with the legal advice you require.

Katie, I truly commend you on wanting to be fair, and believe it should go both ways.

I wish you the very best, and the peace and quiet that you deserve.

Have a GREAT day!

Best regards,
Emil

Emil Veltre, RPh, MS, CDPE
Realtor Associate
Liberty Realty
Mobile: 973.868.4034
Email: EmilVeltre@aol.com
Web Reference: http://www.EmilVeltre.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Your right are what ever your lease says. Check with your attorney.

If you want to keep it simple. Give the owner 2 times a week that you will make it available for showings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 12, 2013
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