What are my rights if I am renting a home for 3 years but now the owner wants it back?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights if I am renting a home for 3 years but now the owner wants it back?

I’m renting a home signed a 3 year contract at real estate office. I lived here for 1 year and then I got a phone from a lady saying she needs her home back. I contacted the person I pay my rent to and he said he’s the owner and that there is a contract that says he bought the house from the lady but he never changed it into his name. Where does that leave me and my family? If he does in fact have that contact how does that work?

Asked on June 17, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the home is still titled in her name, he had no right to rent it to you: even if he had a contract that would buy the house, until and unless the sale closes and the home is titled to him (and that title recorded) it is her house, not his. You can check to whom it is titled at the country clerk's office. If she is the owner, she can require you to leave--you simply have no right to stay there. While he could try to enforce his contract against her, assuming it exists and he has complied with all his obligations under it, *you* cannot and you have no rights under a contract between two other people--and until and unless he does successfully enforce it, she would be the owner (assuming that your information is correct and he never titled it in her name) and can make you leave (since she would not be bound by the lease and the lease is in fact void since he had no power to make it). So you should check on title at the clerk's office; if it's not titled to him, you will have to leave.

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