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Eviction due to sold property


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#1 fyrchck302

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 03:42 AM

I signed a one year lease to a duplex on 3/3/09 and found out not too long after that the LL had the property for sale. Had he disclosed this to me when I was looking at it, I NEVER would have rented it as I have had to move every year for the last 3 years... The whole time I have been here his wife has promised me that she was selling property as investment, but never gave it to me in writing, so I knew as soon as it was sold, I was dunzo..
I received an eviction notice from my LL on 9/15/09, which wasn't even the requirement amount of time of 30 days by NH law. He wrote down I need to vacate by 9/30. I am a single Mom on disability and have many health conditions. I'm trying to find a lawyer, but can't find one that I can afford.
I have spoken with a couple of realtors and one builder and they told me he is liable to me for the balance of my lease. LL did tell me that new owners insisted the place be vacated as condition of sale. Can someone tell me what rights I do or do not have?
I should mention that my father is friendly with the county prosecutor and while he did not offer legal advice, he told me that the LL is not obligated to honor my lease (using the example of someone in foreclosure not having to abide by leases. But isn't a foreclosure a completely different scenario than this one? This LL HAD NO INTENTION OF HONORING MY LEASE! It appears that he just wanted to rake in some cash until the house was sold. A realtor friend told me that the place was originally placed on the market on 5/1/08 and then again 7/31/08 and this most recent time she wasn't sure...
I appreciate everyone who looks at this and even more so to the ones that can help!!


#2 Fallen

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 04:07 AM

Just because a property is sold doesn't automatically mean your lease is no good, even if the property is not "sold as an investment."  That said, it's unlikely that most residential tenants would ensure their lease have the proper protections and ensure that they record their lease among the land records.

Your post doesn't say whether the house has actually been sold and whether the new owner has issued this termination notice.  Will presume you are referring to the landlord you've had since moving in vs. a new owner.  You're free to ignore any "eviction" notice from the present owner; obviously, you have a contract with that person for a year. 

"LL did tell me that new owners insisted the place be vacated as condition of sale."

Not your problem; it's the buyer's problem if they are dumb enough to agree to go to closing knowing you are there. 

A foreclosure isn't exactly the same as a sale, but I also gather the prosecutor isn't keeping up with new federal law on the issue of foreclosure.  A lender indeed now does have to honor a long-term lease ... unless the place is sold to someone who intends to occupy the place.  And even then, after the sale the new owner has to give the tenant a 90-day notice of termination. 

"It appears that he just wanted to rake in some cash until the house was sold."

I would feel free to be proactive and sue him for breach of contract if-when the new owner takes over and terminates your tenancy (or perhaps even before the sale, given the eviction notice).  For now, again, you're free to ignore any communication on this from the present owner/your LL.  If he decides to refuse to accept rent, then contact local landlord-tenant court and ask whether one is able to put rent into court registry for escrow purposes or whether one should open a separate bank account of their own and deposit it until the matter can be resolved.  I'd also make sure to write the LL a letter in the event of refusal of rent confirming the details of the refusal just for documentary purposes.


 


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#3 fyrchck302

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 04:56 AM

Thanks Fallen. The property has not been actually sold, my Realtor friend actually told me it is showing as pending, there isn't even info on how much they accepted. So maybe if we aren't out by the 30th the buyers will back out.. Only time will tell. I've asked her to keep checking and see if it actually goes into closing.
Can you provide me more info on this breach of contract? Is that something I would go to NH court website to get info on? As for the prosecutor, he did advise me to go to state library and read all the laws on LL/tenant issues. Which I will do.
You have made me very hopeful that I will not have to actually leave, it has been very traumatic on my daughter with the constant uprooting from one place to the next (especially now that she is 4 and old enough to understand what's happening)
Just out of curiosity, are you an attorney? You sure sound smart enough to be one :-)


#4 Fallen

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:10 AM

Presumably you'd know whether prospective buyers had been traipsing through the house (can't imagine someone putting in an offer sight-unseen, whether they wanted it as a residence or investment property).


"Is that something I would go to NH court website to get info on?"

The concept of breach of contract?  Not really, no.  If your damages are $5,000 or less, though, you can pursue via small claims court.

http://www.courts.st...rict/claims.htm


You'd basically be suing the landlord for damages related to having to move/get out, plus perhaps compensatory damages as it related to the angst involved with his purposely renting out a place he knew he was trying to get rid of. 

Your daughter will take her cues from you; if you don't act upset/nuts, she won't get any vibes that anything "bad" is happening.  Do the whole "make it an adventure" thing that moms can be particularly good at and she'll be fine. 

I'm afraid I never answer the question of whether I'm an attorney on message boards; it's a personal decision to provide some (very, very) flimsy insurance against folks who are unhappy with an answer and either somehow manage to find resources they obviously didn't have before coming here.  ... or a sympathetic ear by way of a complaint to their state bar staff attorney that *does* have resources (odds are slim) and too much time on his-her hands to sue/subpoena findlaw to find out where I am, etc.   Chances are small, of course, but I just don't need the hassle; anything I can do to minimize the chance is a good idea.  Safe to say there are those here who become irked when I don't tell them what they want to hear.  :) 

If the landlord keeps pestering you and won't be satisfied with "Well, I guess the new owner will just have to deal with this because you've no right to terminate my long-term lease", figure out where the local landlord-tenant court is and file a petition against him for a cease-desist order.  Some courts have simple fill-in-the-blank forms for this. 

You're free to tell the landlord that you'll be happy to release him from the lease obligation in exchange for $X cash in hand.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#5 fyrchck302

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 12:59 PM


"Presumably you'd know whether prospective
buyers had been traipsing through the house"

There have been quite a few people coming through that were not interested, and yes there was a couple who did say they planned on closing next month, but LL said it wasn't them who bought it. 

Thanks for that info on compensatory damages... My realtor friend told me the same thing, to offer him a way out for money, I just need to figure out how much I want. I'm thinking of making it the balance of the lease.

"If the landlord
keeps pestering you and won't be satisfied with "Well, I guess the new
owner will just have to deal with this because you've no right to
terminate my long-term lease", figure out where the local
landlord-tenant court is and file a petition against him for a
cease-desist order.  Some courts have simple fill-in-the-blank forms
for this. "

GREAT, thank you!! I have a feeling I might have to do this.. What are the odds of winning the appeal to eviction, buying me at least some time? Do the judges lean towards the tenant when there is a lease?

I did speak with legal assistance and she told me that I have not done anything to break the lease (I faxed her a copy) and that it is up to the LL to work it out with the new owners about me living here until my lease expires in March. The exact same thing you said to me.. She is sending me pamphlets and might be sending me to a pro-bono attorney to help prep for an eviction, as he will probably still do it.




#6 Fallen

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:17 AM

"What are the odds of winning the appeal to eviction, buying me at least some time?"

Sorry, what "eviction" (judgment) are you referring to?  Your post hasn't indicated that you've gone to court about this.  No court is going to order that you get out when the place isn't even sold yet (unless for instance you failed to mention that your lease has you agreeing to get out on X notice in the event the landlord has a contract to sell the place (not even that the place has actually been sold)).


You don't really need an attorney to simply show up in landlord tenant court and deal with any eviction action the dolt landlord may have filed.  All you need to do is point out the facts -- that you have a lease until next March, he hasn't sold the place, and you've done nothing to breach your lease (and that your lease has no agreement by you that you'll get out/release the landlord from the lease/agree to an early termination just because he may have (or may not have) a contract on his property).


If you plan on filing a small claims suit for damages if the new owner winds up needing you out and terminates the tenancy, you shouldn't even need an attorney for that.  Small claims is pretty simple.  If your damages are more than $5k and you have to sue outside small claims, yes, then you'd want an attorney.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#7 fyrchck302

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 04:26 AM

There hasn't been a court appearance YET. I am afraid that come 9/30, there will be a sheriff here with the papers. And I was told I need to appear in court once that happens. I am going to call the LL (or maybe his wife since she orchastrates all of this) and tell them that I have gotten legal advice and been told I don't have to leave.. (Did I mention that i spoke with Legal Assistance? I forget)

But thank you for pointing out all of my defenses against this scumbag.. I just get so nervous when it comes to these things; I think it is due to lack of knowledge (which you ahve helped me with by responding with your help)




#8 Fallen

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 04:36 AM

"I am afraid that come 9/30, there will be a sheriff here with the papers."

Maybe I didn't explain this very well.  Your landlord would have to file an eviction/unlawful detainer action and properly get your copies of that to you.  Sheriffs don't typically serve folks with copies of an eviction action.  Either the clerk will have noted the court date on the paperwork or you'll receive notice of the court date by mail.  Even if the sheriff DOES come to serve you with notice of an eviction action being filed against you, so what?  You show up in court, show the judge your lease and ask the judge to tell the landlord to pound sand.  (Obviously, if the eviction paperwork mentions any lies such as nonpayment of rent, you make sure to bring evidence of payment with you if necessary.)


It would be helpful if you would have googled the issue of New Hampshire eviction so you could read up on how the process works, but here you go:

http://www.courts.st...ct/landlord.htm

You're also free to keep checking with the landlord-tenant court clerk to see whether the landlord has even actually filed something, just in case you aren't given your copy of the paperwork as required.

Yes, you should warn the landlord that in fact it isn't in a position to just terminate your tenancy because it feels like it and that your lease contract actually means something.  :)


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#9 fyrchck302

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 06:10 AM

I did go to LARC NH (Legal Advice and Referral Center) and saw right there in their pamphlets that "good cause" is generally not used in cases where there is a lease. (He chose good cause and stated "sold duplex") But he is so ignorant that he also chose "violation of material lease terms" and stated that electric not kept on (I did miss a payment on my plan and they disconnected me for oh maybe 5 hours but I paid them within 1 hour of being disconnected) But now that has me thinking about this section on obtaining renters insurance. If I didn't get that, is that grounds for eviction due to "violation of a material term on lease"?
I am feeling good about this, but sometimes one wonders is it  "Too good to be true"? I think what it boils down to is this LL and his "mafia" wife enjoy scaring people and have only had ignorant tenants. Well, I don't scare very easily and I make it a point to educate myself on whatever is deemed necessary.. (In this case I came here for legal advice)



#10 Fallen

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 06:56 AM

You go to the relevant NH court web site (see prior response) get idea of how process works.  For instance, it seems you perhaps need to file a notice of appearance when you receive the eviction paperwork.  (And it's not really been clear whether he actually has filed an eviction action with the court, or whether you have received a court date.)


We've already established that the landlord has no cause; a new OWNER might if it wants you out, but not present owner. 

If he actually sold the property, then he is no longer the owner and would have no standing to file anything against you with regard to eviction in the first place.  :)  

Electricity being disconnected for even a day won't be grounds for an eviction unless its being out caused some serious damage (say, pipes froze in a blink and burst). 


"But now that has me thinking about this section on obtaining renters insurance."

Not a material breach or grounds for eviction (even if the lease says so); he's grasping at straws.  If by some chance you land a whacky-freaking judge who agreed, I'd appeal that.  (Never mind that he has evidently never sent you a notice to cure condition or quit, evidencing that he cared about this when you didn't produce evidence of the insurance.)  


"I think what it boils down to is this LL and his "mafia" wife enjoy scaring people and have only had ignorant tenants."

Probably true.

Best to avoid concluding that you received legal advice here; I was just telling you what I would do were I you based on personal experience, even if I don't/didn't phrase it that way (wink). 


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#11 fyrchck302

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:46 AM

It's all making sense and coming together now.. As I said, I just get nervous when it seems too good to be true. I have actually spoken with a few places and they confirm what you stated, so that is my legal advice ;-) ;-)
I wasn't even thinking about that when he sold he can't evict, silly me... Maybe I will luck out and he won't sell the property, I would laugh in his face!
It even states on that LARC website that I can request a dismissal solely on the grounds that he didn't give me 30 days.. I have not gotten anything from the court system yet, and that won't happen until 9/30, if he even does anything. My father volunteers at the county court, where the judge is a good man, so he will keep his eye open for me to see if they file without informing me. But I think NH law states sheriff serves the formal notice. I still need to read through the site you gave me..

"We've already established that the landlord has no cause; a new OWNER might if it wants you out, but not present owner. "
 
What kind of cause would the new owner be able to evict me on? Would it be before my lease is up, and if so, can I still get my current LL for breach of contract? Or does the breach of contract have to be filed while he still owns it? I am sorry for so many questions...


#12 Fallen

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:06 AM

"It even states on that LARC website that I can request a dismissal solely on the grounds that he didn't give me 30 days."

 

You are NOT on a m-t-m lease, so this isn't relevant.  :)  If you'd materially breached the lease (say not paid rent, etc.), the notice to cure condition/pay or quit would be much shorter than 30 days (at least it is in any state I know of).


"... and that won't happen until 9/30, if he even does anything."

It's entirely possible that he's just blowing smoke; if he handed you court form paperwork on which he'd filled in X-Y-Z, that was improper. 

 

"What kind of cause would the new owner be able to evict me on?"

That you have no lease with him-her-them.


"Would it be before my lease is up, and if so, can I still get my current LL for breach of contract?"

Yes, it could be before your lease is up and as for going after landlord for breach of contract, I covered that however many responses ago.  No, that wouldn't have to be filed while he still owns it.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#13 fyrchck302

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 04:07 AM

In NH it is 7 days for unpaid rent, as you figured it was..


"It's
entirely possible that he's just blowing smoke; if he handed you court
form paperwork on which he'd filled in X-Y-Z, that was improper."

I sure hope he is just blowing smoke, but I think this is all of his wife's doing. She is the one who controls everything... I am not looking forward to this. I am thinking that the new owners may just back out of the sale if I'm not out (or so I am hoping). Or they could move in next door, as it appears the other woman next door is planning on being out. (But she hasn't paid her rent and has damaged the duplex beyond belief)

"Yes,
it could be before your lease is up and as for going after landlord for
breach of contract, I covered that however many responses ago.  No,
that wouldn't have to be filed while he still owns it."

I know that you covered that, I just wasn't sure if the filing had to be while he still owned the building, but I guess if I went to small claims stating that I was evicted (assuming duplex sells and the new owners file with the court) I could show the judge my lease, say that I was evicted and as a result sue for damages.. I'm thinking that would make my case stronger if anything :-)

Thank you!



#14 fyrchck302

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 08:48 AM

Just got a new eviction notice from LL wife, this time it only states that the electricity was turned off on 9/2/09.. Little does she know that it was only for 5 hours (and it was that long because the were busy) And this one actually gave us 30 days..  She is grasping at straws, lol..
I am meeting with a law clinic for pro bono work in case this goes outside small claims.. I'm so glad I was informed of my rights and now I just laugh at their feeble attempts!


#15 fyrchck302

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:53 AM

Adding a minor update to this. Since I have originally been served with the eviction notice on 9/15, my LL's wife has called me numerous times and she called my mother once (which the call itself upset my mother, who is 71) She has been to the house and just today she brought my LL with her. LL asked me today why I paid full rent if I'm to be out on 26th. Said very little, as I want to speak with my attorney... But my question is At what point is this considered harassment and can I legally make them stop calling me and coming over asking about when I am leaving?
LL's wife calls me leaving messages about how she MUST talk with me and that she wants to find a new place for me and my daughter, as she "understands what it is like to have a small child and I could never do anything to hurt either of you" HOW DO I MAKE THEM LEAVE ME ALONE?? Assuming I can make them stop, that is...





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