Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I have a 2 yr lease and 15 months into the lease the landlord asks if I want to end lease early without penalty because he wants to sell. I agreed and landlord has given a date for lease termination. Can I request he amend original lease to show new expiration date? If he sells the home prior to that date, what are my rights

Answer: There are several separate issues here. In response to your first question: If a tenant and landlord agree to change the end-date of a rental agreement, then, in theory, it should not matter whether that agreement is memorialized in writing on the original lease document or in a separate document. One potential issue is that under the general rules of contract, an agreement is not binding unless the two parties exchange what the law calls “consideration,” which is something of value. In other words, the agreement must somehow benefit both of the parties, and not only one of them. If a tenant agrees to a change proposed by the landlord because it will benefit not only the landlord but also the tenant, then the agreement will most likely be binding. In response to your second question: Assuming the home is owned by the landlord then sold by the landlord, rather than sold through foreclosure (where different rules apply), whatever obligations the selling landlord has generally will transfer to the purchasing landlord. So if a landlord buys a home in which a tenant is residing under the terms of a valid rental agreement, that new landlord will be responsible for honoring the terms of the agreement until the agreement ends – unless the original or subsequent rental agreement between the tenant and the selling landlord expressly says otherwise.

QUESTIONS

  • I have a 2 yr lease and 15 months into the lease the landlord asks if I want to end lease early without penalty because he wants to sell. I agreed and landlord has given a date for lease termination. Can I request he amend original lease to show new expiration date? If he sells the home prior to that date, what are my rights

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