Q: I received a 90 day notice - LL wants to sell - via text. I'm current on rent & lease ends in Nov. Can they do this?
I am worried about finding a new rental in this current market within 90 days. Does the notice have to be mailed or hand delivered? Also, is wanting to sell a justified reason for an early termination within the pandemic? Would they have to pay any moving costs or penalties? Any advice would greatly help!
A: Much depends upon where your dwelling is located and how long you have resided there. That said, email or text is never a lawful means of serving a tenant a termination of tenancy notice and is most likely unenforceable. I interpret your posting to mean that you have a fixed term lease through November 2021 and you are not on a month to month tenancy. If accurate, no, a landlord is not free to terminate your tenancy without cause prior to the expiration of your lease term (apparently in November, 2021). What penalties, relocation assistance payments a landlord has to pay also varies depending upon your location (inside or outside the City of Portland city limits?) and additional details. IF the landlord has done this erroneously, there are likely to be substantial financial penalties to him. Do note that a landlord can only issue a no cause termination because of sale of the property AFTER they have accepted an offer from a buyer who certifies that they intend to occupy the dwelling as their primary residence, and they include a copy of the sales paperwork with the termination of tenancy notice to the tenant. IF you believe the landlord has screwed up, and wish to explore your options to hold him accountable, review everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney to confirm your situation and to create a game plan for going forward. If, after review, an attorney believes you have a strong case, it is the sort of case that an attorney may take on contingency meaning you would not owe them anything for their fees, beyond the initial interview fee, but rather the attorney would rely upon collecting their fees from the landlord upon either prevailing in court or settling the case. If you somehow lost the case, your attorney simply goes unpaid. Good luck.
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