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ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11907
Experience:  Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
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My apartment complex just changed owners. A letter was sent

Resolved Question:

My apartment complex just changed owners. A letter was sent out stating "All lease agreements will remain in effect through the current lease term..." _My question is: Can I get out of a pre-signed lease that starts in January and my Current runs up before?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
ScottyMacESQ :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

Customer :

I am here.

Customer :

Please let me know if you need additional information.

ScottyMacESQ :

Okay. I am researching your issue and will get back to you.

ScottyMacESQ :

First of all, do you have a copy of your written lease, and if so, does it address this situation?

Customer :

I do have a copy of my current written lease, and the lease that is to begin after this one is complete. It does not address if the complex is sold to another management company.

Customer :

I am currently double checking

ScottyMacESQ :

Thanks. Look for language that says "successors, assigns, etc..." or something along those lines near the beginning when it is identifying the landlord.

Customer :

I did not find anything in the contract naming "successors". The contract states at the beginning, "This Lease Contract is between you , the resident -------- and us, the owner: ------- ------- . You've agreed to rent --...."

Customer :

"The terms "we," "us," and "our" refer to the owner listed above and not to property managers or anyone else. Written notice to or from our managers constitutes notice to or from us. If anyone else has guaranteed performance of this Lease Contract, a separate lease contract guaranty for each guarantor must be executed.."

ScottyMacESQ :

This is good for you. Basically you can tell the new owner that you are going to be moving out (give 30 days notice) due to the new owner. Let him know that your contract was specifically with the old owner, by name, and did not include successors or assigns.

ScottyMacESQ :

You can let him know in writing, certified mail, return receipt requested, as well as a copy sent regular mail.

Customer :

So I can get out of a lease that I signed with the previous owners for a leased starting in January?

Customer :

Should I talk to the office, or how can I verify with the new management on this issue other than writing or certified mail?

ScottyMacESQ :

Yes, because your lease was a contract with those previous owners only. The law states that new owners have to honor old leases, but there is no law that states that tenants have to honor the lease as well.

ScottyMacESQ :

You can let them know that you intend to move out, and want to verify with them that that's okay with them.

ScottyMacESQ :

That's the easiest way of doing it.

ScottyMacESQ :

But give them something in writing as well.

Customer :

Ok, just a few more questions. The property name is XXXXX XXXXX same and in the letters I received they phrase that " ------ ---- --- --- will become the Managing Agent for Longhorn Landing."

Customer :

Does this make a difference?

ScottyMacESQ :

If your lease is with the property name and not the owner, that would make a difference, but if you entered into your contract with the actual owner of the property (not the name of the property) then the lease is between you and the owner, not you and the property.

Customer :

Ok, on the lease it says the name of the property and on the rest of the paperwork it names the company. A separate letter that I received states:

Customer :

" This letter will advise you that effective September -, 2010, Long--- B--- LLC ("Seller") completed the sale of the property commonly known as ----- ----- ------ ----, Texas (the "Property"), to A---- ---- ----- ---- -------- A Delaware limited partnership having an adress........ ("purchaser"). In connection with such sale, Seller and Purchaser executed that certain Assignment of Leases whereby Seller transferred and assigned to Purchaser all of its right, title and interest in all tenant leases (individually, the "Lease" and collectively, the "Leases") affecting the Property. Accordingly, you are hereby further advised that any and all future rental payments due and owning under your existing Lease should be made.... (SAME PROPERTY NAME WITH 'phaseII' ADDED) , and should be delivered........

Customer :

These letters state existing lease, not future leases along with naming the companies involved with the sell... That is why I am hoping there is a chance to get out of the future lease.

ScottyMacESQ :

The problem is that the old owner executed an assignment of leases here, meaning that essentially the old owner gave the new owner the rights that the older owner would have had. This is perfectly legal and perfectly valid transfer.

ScottyMacESQ :

What that means is that your lease is still valid, with the new owner being the assigned beneficiary under the old contract.

ScottyMacESQ :

Now in terms of your future contract:

ScottyMacESQ :

The "existing lease" means the lease that you have entered into with the old landlord.

ScottyMacESQ :

A court is going to interpret this in light of what is meant and in relation with the rest of the document.

ScottyMacESQ :

It means any lease that is not entered into with the new landlord still needs to be paid to the new landlord from now on.

ScottyMacESQ :

That means that the future leases will also be binding.

ScottyMacESQ :

Now that being said, you should see if they will let you out of the lease, which they just might, because they may be able to get a better price (or at least want to charge a higher price). If you indicate that you are not going to honor the lease, they still have to try to cover the property.

ScottyMacESQ :

So if you let them know now, they can do everything they can to mitigate your damages, if any.

ScottyMacESQ :

So while you do not have a legal way to get out of this lease, you still have a good chance of not being liable for any damages as a result of leaving.

ScottyMacESQ :

And they may just let you go voluntarily, without any other fuss.

ScottyMacESQ :

Try that and see what happens...

ScottyMacESQ :

If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

Customer :

Thank you for your time, and thorough answer. I greatly appreciate it.

ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11907
Experience: Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
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