Real NEastate: Will I have to move out of my rental now that it’s for sale?

Q: I’m renting a three-bedroom house in Tacony that my landlord just put up for sale. He told us we had to show it to potential buyers anytime he gives us 24 hours notice. That’s not a problem. But I have a month-to-month lease. Will the new owner have to let us stay or will we be forced to move? What are my rights?

A: Renters don’t enjoy many rights, especially when it comes to the sale of a home. A property can be sold with the lease transferred with it, or the new buyer could ask for a tenant-free property. And since you live in a three-bedroom house there’s a possibility that a buyer might want to live there.

Or maybe someone might buy the home as an investment, and there will be a chance your lease can get transferred, but probably not if it’s month-to-month. If you’re lucky enough and the new owner would like you to stay, he/she will likely want you to sign a new lease under his/her terms. But you’re not protected from him/her wanting to raise the rent, either.

A month-to-month lease is convenient for renters who don’t plan on putting down roots. Since they’re not locked in for a long term, they can move anytime they want with notice to their landlord. Actually, many times, even having a 12-month or more lease doesn’t even protect you from getting a notice from the landlord that you have to move because the property will be sold. It depends on the lease. You should prepare for the worst and find out how much notice your landlord will have to give you should you have to move. It could be 30 to 90 days, depending on the terms of your lease.

Your lease holds the answers to most of your questions.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.


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