Q: Landlord is selling house 1 month into year-long lease due to city zoning issues. Not letting us out of lease. Recourse?
One month into our lease, my two siblings and I (all college students) have been notified that the landlord is going to sell the house. Classes started today (8/24) and if we need to move we ought to move now before the house sells at some point in the semester. We were told if we did that we would be breaking the lease and they demand two months' rent. We could stay here but not sure what the new owner will do. Apparently the current house owner has been notified by the city that they are in violation of city zoning laws because they are renting to more than three persons not related. We rent that upstairs house; there are three apartments in the finished basements downstairs which are all rented. What can we do?
A: Generally under Virginia law, the purchaser/new owner is bound by the terms and conditions of an existing lease between the current tenant and the landlord/selling owner. The purchaser/new owner must assume the obligations and rights as stated in the existing lease with the tenant.
A: You don't have to leave because the property is being sold, but the city may not allow you to stay if the property has more people living there than is permissible based on the zoning ordinance. If you decide to hire an attorney, I'm sure anyone who responds would be happy to help.
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