Q: Homeowner selling after signing year lease.
Update: This was a renewal lease and is scheduled to be our second year in the property.
I just signed a year lease that ends June 2022. I'm now being informed by the homeowner's real estate agent that the owner would like to cancel my lease ASAP and sell the property. What are my options in this situation? Can I stay in the house through the end of the lease term or do they have the right to cancel my lease so quickly?
A: Have you already moved into the property out of curiosity?
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A: Generally, a lease is a contract that attaches to the leasehold property, meaning the terms of your lease could bind the purchaser of the property. However, it all depends on the terms in your lease. Your options include, negotiating an early buy-out, filing a lis pendens action, or simply continuing to occupy the property "openly and notoriously" and enforce your right to stay against the purchaser. Nevertheless, your options are specific to your lease, as well as your locality.
A: If you are already in possession of the property (living in it), then you can generally enforce the lease terms. Buyers take subject to any existing lease. Therefore, read the lease terms carefully regarding early termination of the lease in the event of a sale f the property. Some jurisdictions in Maryland (Baltimore City, e.g.) require that a landlord first offer to sell the property to the tenant (first right of refusal). Other counties may have other local landlord tenant regulations or codes that address sales of rental properties with tenants in them. That said, you may be able to negotiate compensation for having to move out if you decide to settle the issue amicably.
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