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Real estate Q&A: Can my landlord end my lease early?

Gary M. Singer, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Q: My lease extends through early next year, but my landlord wants me to leave early so she can sell the home in September. I have always paid my rent on time and keep the house clean. Do I have to move out early? -- Anonymous

A: No, your landlord must honor the terms of the lease.

A lease is a type of contract between a property owner and a tenant. Unless they conflict with state and local laws, the terms of the lease must be followed by both parties.

Your obligations under a typical rental contract involve paying your rent on time and not damaging the property. At the same time, your landlord needs to maintain the property and leave you in peace to enjoy your home until the lease expires.

Nothing is stopping your landlord from selling the property in the middle of your lease. The new owner would become your new landlord; your security deposit would be transferred at the closing of the sale. The terms of your lease agreement will not change, but you will need to pay your rent to the new owner. At the end of your current lease, you will have to negotiate a new contract with the current owner. However, the owner may decide not to rent it to you again.

Every rental agreement is different, and you should check yours carefully to see what it says.

There are many reasons why the owner may need to sell the property this fall. Selling a home with a tenant in place can be more difficult because there are fewer people that want to be landlords than people that want to make their new house their home.

 

About The Writer

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

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