Q: Can I sell my property in Harford Co MD when my tenants rent is paid by a rental assistance program during COVID?
My tenants rent is paid in entirety by Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP). Our lease is month to month, and states 60 days notice must be given. The lease is between my tenant & I, and does not involve BRHP. I just want to make sure there are no extra COVID laws I need to abide by when a rental assistance program is involved. Thanks in advance.
A: You can always sell the property subject to an existing lease and the new owner must honor the lease terms and any other agreements you made with BRHP. If you want to terminate the tenant's lease and and sell the property without tenants in possession or subject to the terms of any lease or BRHP agreements, then you need to review the terms of the lease and any BRHP terms and conditions you may be bound to, and clarify what you can and cannot do. In some jurisdictions (Baltimore City, e.g.), a tenant has the right of first refusal to purchase a leasehold property on reasonable commercial terms whenever the landlord decides to sell it. The US Supreme Court just ended the federal moratorium on evictions, but you will need to comply with any Maryland state COVID restrictions which may apply. Generally, unless the term of the lease has not expired, you are free to terminate and not renew a lease after the end of its term even during COVID, and at this time Maryland courts will grant you judgment of possession and evict a tenant who refuses to vacate, so if you give 60 days notice per your lease terms, and there is no contrary BRHP provision that prevents you from doing so, then you should be in the clear. Obviously, this advice is not to be relied upon in the absence of actually reviewing the lease terms and any BRHP terms and conditions you have agreed to. If you want more certainty, take the lease and any BRHP terms and conditions to a lawyer to review.
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