Does a new owner have the authority to ask for rent that a tenant owes the old landlord?

UPDATED: Jul 11, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Does a new owner have the authority to ask for rent that a tenant owes the old landlord?

We owe rent to our landlord; he sold the building and now the new owner gave us an eviction paper to pay rent that we owe the old landlord. When we signed the contract we were in high school, now we are in college and we are over 18 years old, can he use the name of all the adults in the house to take us to court for not paying the rent to the old landlord?

Asked on July 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is a lot going on here.  A new landlord is in "privity of estate" with you, so he can collect new rents even if there is no lease between you and him. 

Generally, a new landlord has no right to collect rents from before he bought the property.  That said, the old landlord may have assigned the right to collect those rents by contract, but you don't really know if they did that or not.

As far as the past rent being collected from you...persons under 18 cannot contract.  I don't understand "use the name of all the adults in the house"--does that mean the people who were adults before or adults now?  If you were under 18 and living with family members when the past rent was incurred, you are not liable to pay the debt of your family members who signed the lease.  He would have to sue the people who signed the lease and were over 18.  If he sues you now for a lease that your not on and were under 18 when it was incurred, you will have a very good defense in court.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption