Can a landlord break a rental lease upon sale of the house?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a landlord break a rental lease upon sale of the house?

We signed a rental lease and paid a deposit 2 months ago to take a place starting in 2 days. We were just informed today that they sold the property and are now saying that we cannot move into the place. We had signed the lease confirming rental of the location through about 6 months ago then moving month-to-month.

Can we enforce the signed lease?

Asked on December 19, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can enforce the signed lease: the house is sold subject to the lease, and selling a house is not grounds to terminate or void the lease. The landlord can only sell what he/she has--i.e. he/she cannot provide more rights than he or she has, and what he/she has is a house with a tenant, where the landlord's rights are subject to the terms of a lease (and to landlord/tenant law). You do not have to move, and the buyer has to honor the lease. 
However, once the lease becomes month to month, whomever owns the home at that time can give you a month's notice terminating the tenancy and requiring you to go.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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