One thing that might make some first-time renters nervous is the idea of the apartment building they’re moving into being sold. This can be a somewhat scary prospect, but thankfully, there are many legal protections in place to keep you and your money safe. Read on below for everything you need to know about what happens if your landlord sells your building.
No need to worry
If your building is being sold, the main thing to keep in mind is that there should be no need for you to worry. In general, the terms of your lease will still be upheld by the law until the end of the lease, so at a very minimum, you’ll at least have time to adjust your plans.
If you have a month-by-month lease
If your lease is month-by-month, most areas require that your new landlord give you at least 30 days’ written notice to vacate if they sell the property to a new owner. The disadvantage of a month-by-month lease is that the terms of the lease can change quickly, so you don’t have as much security or time to make new plans in the event of a large change.
When the building is sold, your new landlord is legally allowed to raise the rent or make any other changes they see fit, and you’ll only have that 30 days’ notice to find a new apartment if you’re wanting to leave.
12 month or longer leases
If your lease is for a longer term such as a year or more, you won’t have to worry about being asked to leave early. Legally, your lease is tied to the property, not the landlord, so your lease will remain in effect even after the property is sold.
You have no guarantee that your lease will be renewed after your term ends, so talk to your new landlord to determine whether you’ll need to make new plans. Even if you’re at the end of your lease, they’re required to give you 30 days’ written notice to vacate the premises.
So what happens to your security deposit when the building is sold? Well, the general rule is that the new landlord will be responsible for refunding your security deposit. In some cities and states, however, your original landlord will need to refund your security deposit when selling the building.
A new landlord has a lot to do to understand how the property runs, so sometimes it might fall to you as the tenant to make sure you’re treated fairly. When you plan to move out, contact your new landlord and ensure that you’ll be able to get your security deposit back.
Local and state laws
Between security deposits, renewing your lease, and eviction laws, it’s important to be aware of the regulations in your city, county, and state so you know your rights when your building is sold. You can find detailed information about protection for tenants on your city or state website or by visiting a state-by-state rental laws database.