Q: I am purchasing home from landlord and signed a contract, but turns out someone else is on title who did not sign-off.
A few months ago my landlord gave me a 90 day notice via email (despite moratorium against no-cause evictions) because they wanted to put house on market. I then entered a contract to purchase the house, and only they signed. It turns-out another person is on the title. I have had some problems with securing lending, and have not been given a clear answer about the title issue....and per the contract the house is supposed to close soon. Was the contract for purchase even legal without the second owner signing? Can they evict me if things do not work-out by the deadline?
Thank you for your help.
A: No one can tell you the sale status without reviewing your escrow agreement and/or sales agreement. It would seem likely, however, that you may have breach of contract claims if the seller is unable to provide you with a clean Title to the property. You may wish to review everything with a local real estate attorney.
That said, you are correct that no without cause termination of tenancy notices are not lawful to issue in residential landlord-tenant situations during the pandemic. Further, if the Notice was only served to you by email, it is a defective notice besides. Termination notices MUST be in writing - NOT text, email, voice mail, verbal, etc.; contain all the required specific information, and must be served either by personally handing the notice to you; by regular first class mail (NOT Certified, etc.) with an additional 4 days, including the day of mailing, added to the compliance time; or, if your written rental agreement provides for it, by posting it on your main entrance door and mailing you a copy. Given none of this apparently happened, the landlord's termination notice was not valid and most likely is not enforceable no matter what. You may also have monetary damage claims against the landlord for the unlawful notices. So you may also want to review it all with a local landlord-tenant attorney. If your claim is solid, you likely have a claim for your court costs and attorneys fees as well as monetary damages all from the landlord. You have 1 year from the date the unlawful notice was issued to file a lawsuit if you wish to. After that it will be too late, regardless of the merits of the case. Good luck.
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