My rights as a tenant?

My wife and I recently moved into our first house with our 6 month old daughter. It’s a house owned by another person whom we are to pay rent to. When we first moved in, the land-lady had told us that as soon as she had a lease written up, she would come over and have us sign it. After about two weeks had gone by and we never heard back from her, we left her about 1,000 messages on her office phone with no call backs, and sent her about 1,000 e-mails with no reply. Finally, she called us and told us things have been very busy at the office, and that our lease was ready, and that she just needed to come over. So she told us a date and time. We were home, we were prepared, but no land-lady, and no lease. Finally after about another two weeks, my wife gets in touch with her and asks if it would be easier for her to meet us some where. She said it would be a lot easier, as she lives pretty far away. So we asked her when and where, and she said, "Let me get back to you guys tomorrow on that." No calls, no e-mails, no lease. We moved in the weeked before July 4th of ’08, and it is now September 12th. She called us the other day stating her intentions of selling the house, but that we wouldn’t have to move, we would just have to pay rent to the next owner. We asked her again about the lease, only to get an, "I haven’t forgotten about you guys," out of her. My question is three-fold. What are the odds of the next owner raising the rent on us (we got this house through a friend of a friend, and are getting a 0 discount on rent), how do we stop that from happening, and how can I wedge my way into this land-lady’s very thick cranium to tell her I’m sick of waiting for this lease? Keep in mind, I’m trying very hard to keep up good relations with her due to the discounted rent being a favor on her part.

11 Responses to “My rights as a tenant?”

  1. Landlord Says:

    You need to live without a lease.

    The lease comes with the house when it is sold, but she can not write one, especially one low balling rent while the house is for sale. The new owners need to see and agree with the lease prior to purchase, and obviously the rental amount is not going to fly.

    The new landlord has to give you a 30 day notice of the new rental amount. Do not count on a lease, it is not legally required and could cause problems with the sale.

  2. J A Says:

    Tell her she can come pick up the rent, and while she is at it she can bring the paperwork…

    The new owner doesn’t have to keep you, can give you notice to get out if they want then charge whatever they want to the new tenant. Amount of notice depends on where you are.

  3. down south Says:

    some tenent rules are different in different states, what state are you in?

  4. BIKER DUDE Says:

    She obviously doesn’t want to sign the lease with that low locked in rent. That would make it harder for her to sell the house. Somebody is going to get screwed here. Either you or the person buying the home. Also the buyers can make you move if they want to move into it. The fact of the matter is that there isn’t much that you can do about it because you do not have a signed lease.

  5. amberowl28 Says:

    I think there’s a very good chance that the new landlord/lady will increase the rent if your getting such a discount. There is nothing you can do to stop this though they can only increase the rent in accordance with a signed lease (or new lease if one hasn’t yet been signed). I would keep sending messages and reminding your landlady about the lease. Though I doubt you’ll receive one. Any lease you did sign would become void as soon as the house sold. The new landlord/lady would have to sign it too. Without currently having a lease you have no legal rights so you need to get one sorted asap if you want to continue living there.

    I would start looking for other places to rent (you should have plenty of time it takes a while to sell a house). You should insist on being kept informed about the progress of the sale. Any lease you did sign would become void as soon as the house sold. The new landlord/lady would have to sign it too.

  6. Galen B Says:

    Wow That is pretty impressive. To be able to send 1000 emails and 1000 messages.

    I suspect the response you are getting will be the same if the water heater breaks. She will get someone there…someday…

    You moved in with no lease…so what is your hurry?

  7. T-gurl Says:

    The discounted rent is not a favor on her part, it a favor on your’s that you are putting money into her pocket up until the very day of the sell. A similar situation happened to a friend of mine and I really think this lady is trying to stiff you. She is trying to have maintain this source of income up until the day the papers are signed over to the new owner. There are no guarantees that the new owner will rent to you and you need to start looking for a new place to stay asap. You don’t want to wait til the day that you come downstairs and the new owners are making breakfast.

    BTW: you’re not officially a tenant yet because you haven’t signed a lease so you have no rights as a tenant and this lady can kick you out when she wants as well as the new owners

  8. callmehandy Says:

    If you do not have a lease, you have a month to month rental arrangement. You do have certain rights as a tenant, but there is nothing preventing the landlord or the new owner from raising the rent or evicting you. With no lease, a 30 day eviction can be used even without cause. The owner can give you 30 days to move even if you paid your rent on time and are not a horrible tenant. If you have not paid your rent on time, and the landlord did not accept a partial payment, a 3 day eviction can be used.

  9. infinite crisis 247 Says:

    this depends on which state that you live in. in some states, if the home is sold through foreclosure or short sale, the new owner has no obligation to keep you. they do have to give you fair notice to vacate, but they have no obligation to honor the lease (and you dont even have e lease, so you are essentially month to month). if she is selling the house herself, my bet is that she is stonewalling you because the new owner will not want to rent to you for that amount. that being the case, once the property changes hands, they will sock you with a 12 month lease with the price on their terms, not yours. as you are on a month to month, if you do not accept said price, they will give you 30 days to vacate. this sounds like a bad situation here.

  10. Classy Granny Says:

    If the house sells your lease won’t mean a thing. The new owner may be buying so he can live in it himself in which case you’ll get a 30 day notice to move. If they are buying as an investment you can bet the $250 discount will no longer apply.

  11. Trouble Says:

    You do not have a written fixed term lease, you are a month to month tenant by default.

    Your tenancy is governed by your state’s landlord tenant laws.

    Since you are a month to month tenant, either your current landlord or any future landlord can raise your rent or terminate your tenancy with proper written notice – no cause or reason is needed.

    Without a written fixed term lease, you cannot stop either your current landlord or any future landlord from raising the rent or terminating your tenancy.

    You cannot force the landlord to give you a written fixed term lease.