COVID-19 Real Estate Law Q&A by State

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COVID-19 Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon on
Q: Seller of a rented home wants the buyer to take over as tenant 30 days after closing. What can new owners do to renters?

Seller says a 90 day notice to vacate will be given once the house closes. I don't think the renters are paying rent but I am not sure. Is there anyway to get them to vacate by offering money to leave the rental once we take ownership without having to go through an eviction? How long could we... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on May 3, 2021

Sure - anything (more or less) that you and the tenants can agree to is likely to work - bribery has long proven an effective way to accomplish some goals. BUT if you are the buyer, with all due respect, you are crazy if you don't make the seller getting the tenants out (instead of you) as a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Landlord ?: can I technically give “1 day leases” with 0 tenant/landlord obligations to have a gathering during covid?

Technically couldn’t I give unlimited leases just for one day to have all attendees be considered “household members”

William Stanger
William Stanger answered on May 3, 2021

The one day lease isn't the problem. A contract (including a lease) is not valid if it has zero obligations. You are also limited in the number of legal tenants to two per bedroom. Further, it seems likely that such a lease would be deemed to have an "illegal purpose" and be void... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Neighbors turning on double flood lights which trespass directly into my second floor apt, all the way to my back wall.

I had a problem ten years ago, and now it is happening again with new tenants in this rental home property across the street. I alerted said neighbors to the issue, they explained homeless are trespassing onto the property. They turned on porch light and shut their gate for a few weeks. Now, the... Read more »

William Stanger
William Stanger answered on May 3, 2021

Depending on where you live, it may be a violation of a local law and contacting the City and waiting would be your cheapest option. I would also expect that you have a claim for private nuisance against the neighbor, and you could seek an injunction, but that would be expensive.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Q: what happens after lease is terminated but tenant didn't move out.

I am the landlord, lease is terminated with tenant. My lease has plenty for terminating early and hold over fee as well. I notified my tenant with letter and email. He acknowledged. He didn't move out since he wasn't able to get a place. I let him stay due to covid. Know he give me 60... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 3, 2021

You have made a mistake. Hire a competent attorney to file an eviction action for possession only today. You are only loosing rent monies dealing with the tenant in this fashion.

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Illinois on
Q: May I change the locks on a home I own that has been for the most part abandoned? Please see additional info below:

Home was purchased at a foreclosure (judicial) sale in Illinois. I have a order of possession from the original foreclosure proceedings. Evictions have been postponed due to pandemic. Home has water shut off. Prior owner lives somewhere else, but still has keys. Prior owner occasionally visits... Read more »

Erik K Jacobs
Erik K Jacobs answered on Apr 29, 2021

As a practical matter, yes. Possession has been ordered in the foreclosure. The owner does not RESIDE in the premises. It sounds like he's an occasional trespasser.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: I'm thinking of buying the property that I currently rent. It us a multi family unit w/ month to month lease.

I would like to remodel it into a single family home. Am I allowed to terminate the lease of the 2nd family after my loan is approved? Since it is an FHA 203k loan what are my options during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 11, 2021

The lease is a binding contract. You need to review that lease carefully for its termination provisions, and then you need to check both state and local landlord-tenant law about tenant rights. There are three specific areas to research: 1) whether the tenant has a right to holdover, which often... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Business Law and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: If you personally guarantee a business loan and file bankruptcy, can the bank go after your house/primary residence?

I opened the doors to my s-corp in 2020 and due to covid I may have to file for bankruptcy. I have a great opportunity to buy a house now and don't know if the bank will go after my house for collateral. Should I wait to see what the business does or is it safe to buy a house prior to a... Read more »

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer answered on Apr 1, 2021

I would never advise any client, ever to set up a Sub-Chapter S corporation. It offers no benefit to anyone other than the accountant who probably set it up for you. You need to have a strategy session with an experienced Bankruptcy attorney. You are not going to be able to purchase a new house at... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate Law and Environmental for Michigan on
Q: Do I have a right to request termination of lease, before my move in date, if landlord is not responding to concerns?

Do I have a right to request termination of lease, before my move in date, if no one is responding to these concerns? I found pests(bedbugs) of what I believe to be an infestation as I was cleaning the unit. I have proof and I’ve contacted the agent and the Property Manager and sent them... Read more »

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Mar 31, 2021

There's quite a lot of misconception around landlord and tenant laws. The Michigan Landlord Tenant handbook should be easy to find and will have some helpful information in it.

Anytime you break a contract, with a complete defense or not, you're risking retaliation (balance that...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon on
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... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Mar 23, 2021

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon on
Q: In Oregon do I have to wait for my rental to sell before I can ask owner for moving expenses during this pandemic?

I was notified our rental is being put on the market to be sold. Once sold, I may be given 90 days to move. At what point, if any, would The property owner be liable to pay for moving expenses? I read it could be up to one months rent. We are in a pandemic and rentals are scarce so if I have an... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Mar 21, 2021

If you are not within the Portland city limits, and your landlord (not just property manager) owns 5 or more rental units in Oregon, then you will likely be entitled to receive one month's rent as relocation assistance with receipt of a valid 90 day Notice of Termination of Tenancy. If within... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: What happens in a seller stays past the date they were supposed to leave?

We are in the process of closing on a house. The seller would like to stay 7 days past the closing and pay for it. With Covid 19 what happens if she refuses to move out after the 7 days? Could we get stuck with her as a tenant and not be paid for her stay?

Anthony Armando Nozzolillo
Anthony Armando Nozzolillo answered on Mar 11, 2021


What you are referring to is called "post posession". This does NOT create a landlord/tenant relationship..whereby if the Seller stays beyond the 7 days...(their attorney should be holding money in escrow as an incentive for you to allow the post possession) will...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: Landlord gave us a letter on March 1st stating he's doing a 30-Day quick deed sale on the house we are renting

We have a month-to-month rental agreement and have been looking around, but there are no apartments or homes available within 15 miles for a rental. We have 2 teens in High School + a Special Needs child in Elementary.

We literally have nowhere to go without leaving the area and causing... Read more »

Barbara Ungar Esq.
Barbara Ungar Esq. answered on Mar 4, 2021

Presently, there is a stay of evictions signed by Governor Murphy under Executive Order 106 on March 19, 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The stay of evictions was recently extended by Governor Murphy and also by the federal government under the Biden administration. The CDC guidelines reference... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Do I have a chance at winning over property rights/ occupancy over the house I co-own with my abusive child's father?

I am currently in a child custody dispute with my child's father. We co-own a house as of 2018 (never married) and after two years of domestic abuse I left with my daughter. We share 50/50 custody but am finding it difficult to aquire permanent reasonable housing for myself and my daughter.... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Mar 1, 2021

If you were never married, your rights to the property would be based on real estate laws and you have the right to ask the court to partition (i.e. have the property sold now) and have the equity distributed based on title ownership. So if he does not cooperate with you by 1) allow you to live in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: How to remove former owner from property sold by investor to me. Investor purchased from the bank foreclosure. Ejectment

Do you need to start 713(5)notice or 90 days eviction notice or ejectment

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Mar 1, 2021

Generally, after purchasing in foreclosure you may remove a former owner through a Housing Court proceeding. It may be tempting to consider serving your own predicate notices. However, even a small error in such notice can result in dismissal of your entire case after months of litigation. In... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I am buyer. Seller did not disclosed information about solar panel contract. Can I refuse to buy and get my depositback

Do I need an attorney or it can be mediated?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Feb 2, 2021

Need more facts. What, exactly, is the non-disclosure? That warranty repairs were limited to manufacturer warranties? That disputes under the solar panel contract can only be resolved by binding arbitration in Chester County, PA? Or that the solar panels have a balance due with 48 monthly... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Lease break in New Jersey -

Is there a way to break a lease because we're not feeling safe anymore in a residence where we believe there's a failure to enforce covid19 rules?

Morris Leo Greb
Morris Leo Greb answered on Jan 31, 2021

Present the Landlord with a written demand for proactive steps for Covid 19 protection. Include in the demand a list of specific deficiencies. Set a reasonable dates for commencement and completion of the required repairs which must be done by licensed contractors. If the Landlord refuses, you have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Do 1099 contractors have rights regarding possible COVID exposure?

I’m a photographer (1099 contractor) for a real estate business in California that makes virtual tours using business owned equipment. I have done nearly 50 listings, mostly residential, spanning the last 7 months.

In many instances, not all, the listing has been vacant and I signed... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 30, 2021

An independent contractor's rights and duties are defined by the contract between you and the other party to the contract. For the most part, laws enacted to protect employees will not protect independent contractors, with some exceptions. Whether your contractual partner can force you to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My landlord died and I was gave Certified letter stating they will not be renewing my lease do to his realtor selling

The property I have been living paying my rent for 8 yrs. and they want me out by Jan.31,2021 I was gave the letter back in June of 2020 but it been so hard to find a place do to the pandemic is they breaking the law somewhere cause no one haven’t came and seen the home to buy anything

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Jan 29, 2021

The property may be tied up in probate or the personal representative of the estate may be waiting for you to vacate to fix the property up to sell, but that does not mean you cannot be evicted once the lease expires. If an eviction action is filed against you, you will have a trouble finding any... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Products Liability, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Q: I bought a place, rented it for a few months, lease is up, she is late but won't go. I need to move in my place

I bought a place but was renting and couldn't get out of my lease so rented for a few months with a lease. I had her lease end when my lease is up so i could move into the place i bought.

She won't leave and is always late with rent, What can i do? I have no where to live as... Read more »

Elizabeth Crego
Elizabeth Crego answered on Jan 27, 2021

I think there are some details that need to be considered before determining what you can do. You said your lease is up, but it's unclear as to whether the lease for the property you own is up. If it is not, you will have to wait until the end of the lease period unless she fails to pay rent... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: In Ohio, do all apartment complex have to take Section 8 now because of covid, even if we didn't before?

We are a higher end apartment complex and someone said now all apartments have to take section 8. Is this correct?

Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams answered on Jan 20, 2021

No. There have been some changes along those lines but nothing so broad. Toledo for example passed an ordinance that says landlords cannot reject applicants solely because they rely upon vouchers to help pay their rent. But it doesn't go into effect for about two months and there is nothing... Read more »

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