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Potential Sale of Leased property- Florida


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#1 popster

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

Not sure I need an attorney yet, just a better understanding of my rights as a tenant. Discussions to this point are between the landlord and myself.

I am leasing a single family home in Naples Florida. I have lived here for 3 years with a lease for 1 year executed each year. The landlord and I signed an annual lease for 2013 in 10/12 which goes into effect 2/1/13.

The house has been for sale ever since we moved in. In the lease for 2011, we agreed to add an addendum, which states that we agree to move out of the house with in 90 days after the closing of the sale of the house. We agreed to this to perhaps make it easier for the owners to sell..

A week or so ago, I received a call from a realtor, stating there was a contract on the house and it was scheduled to close on 3/15/13. I was told the prospective owner/buyer wanted to keep us in the house and honor the lease. Yesterday the owner called me to tell me the buyer was trying to obtain a VA loan which stipulates the house must be his primary residence and that I would need to move before the closing, which is less than 2 months from now.

What are my rights and options regarding when I need to move from the house?

#2 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

Did the current lease you signed include the addendum you mentioned?
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#3 popster

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

Yes. The 2012 and the 2013 included the addendum.

#4 pg1067

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:24 AM

The house has been for sale ever since we moved in. In the lease for 2011, we agreed to add an addendum, which states that we agree to move out of the house with in 90 days after the closing of the sale of the house. We agreed to this to perhaps make it easier for the owners to sell.


Yes. The 2012 and the 2013 included the addendum.


I assume the net effect of this is that the current lease and the lease whose term starts on 2/1/13 incorporated the terms of the addendum you signed in 2011. Correct?


What are my rights and options regarding when I need to move from the house?


Your rights are governed entirely by the terms of your lease. You apparently are living in the apartment pursuant to a lease that terminates on January 31, 2013 but already have in place a lease whose term runs through January 31, 2014. By incorporating the 2011 addendum, it appears that the landlord has the right to terminate your tenancy upon sale of the premises and that you have until 90 days after closing to vacate (from the landlord's perspective, it would have been smarter to require that you move on 90 days' notice, but that's water under the bridge). That your rights under the lease might impact the ability of a particular buyer to obtain a particular type of financing is, quite frankly, not your problem. Your landlord cannot kick you except as provided by the lease, and it appears from everything you have posted that he has no legal right or ability to do so. If that means the pending sale falls through, so be it.

What this means is that you are in a position with a substantial amount of leverage. If your landlord and the buyer are sufficiently motivated to make this sale happen, they may be willing to offer you a sizeable amount of money to get you to agree to terminate the lease. You therefore have to decide whether you're willing to move within the next seven weeks and, if so, what amount you want to demand in exchange for your agreement. If I were in your position, and depending on your relationship with your landlord, the starting point probably should be the reasonable cost of moving. You should keep in mind also that, if you decline to move before the sale and the sale falls through as a result, your landlord probably could find all sorts of subtle ways to make you wish you had cooperated. While the sorts of things I have in mind might not technically be legal, they could be hard to prove.

#5 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

To learn more about your rights as a tenant, you may visit the Real Estate Law Center: Landlord-Tenant Law and read Tenant Rights as a good resource.
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