Can a landlord break a lease in order to sell a home?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a landlord break a lease in order to sell a home?

Our lease is not up for almost another 6 months. However, our landlord

notified us we will need to move in about 60 days since they are selling the home. He wants to give us $500 to help with moving expenses but we feel it is no fault of our own and we should be able to stay. He now notified me today that I will need to make the house available for contractors to give estimates for modifications and to start work. Keep in mind I am due to have a baby in less than 2 weeks and I am currently on bedrest due to a high risk pregnancy. My husband works nights, so with work going on during the day it will be impossible for any of us to get any rest. I am not understanding how any of this is legal since our lease is not up and we have not broken our lease. I thought a lease was a binding contract made between both parties so both should have to fulfill their agreement?

Asked on February 27, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You are correct: a lease is a contract. The landlord cannot break it early to sell the home, unless the lease itself has some term or provision allowing this (if it does, then you contractually agreed to early termination in this circumstance).
Howevever the landlord is allowed to bring in contractors to give estimates or do work, so long as he gives reasonable (typically 24 hour or more) notice of it, and does so at reasonable times (e.g. during the normal work day)--it is his property, after all, and he can maintain, renovate, etc. it. He can also bring in realtors to show it on notice, possible buyers to view it on notice, etc. So he can't remove you early--if anyone buys prior to your lease expiring, they buy subject to your lease and take you as tenants--but he can do all the things (again, on notice) necessary to stage, market, and sell it--and, as noted, he can even actually sell it, though the buyer will have you as tenants for the remainder of your lease.

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