What are a renters rights if the rental property is sold?

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2011

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What are a renters rights if the rental property is sold?

I rented a home and the landlord put it up for sale within a month of me moving in. Now 2 weeks later, they are showing house to potential buyers. I have a month-to-month agreement but am wondering what my rights are? I was not told it would be sold and it’s next to impossible to find a rental in the small town I live in, especially in the middle of winter. If I can’t find anything right away, what are my rights?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Idaho


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When a property is sold, the new owner must take it subject to any valid existing leases then in effect. At that point, the new owner also becomes the new landlord. However, as a month-to-month tenant you can be asked to leave upon 30 days notice. This is true whether or not your property is sold (either the old or new landlord would need to give it to you). Without a written lease, you have no further protection. 

Once you have been given notice, if you fail to vacate by the date specified, then the landlord could then file an eviction in court (i.e. "unlawful detainer").  And you would be liable for costs, etc. Additionally, a negative notation could be put on your credit report.

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