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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 17110
Experience:  General practice attorney
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I am try to negotiate a lease termination with new landlord

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I am try to negotiate a lease termination with new landlord who have bought my duplex He is tell me I have to site exact dates that I have VACATED to premises in order to have a lease termination is that correct?

ScottyMacESQ :

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

ScottyMacESQ :

A lease termination is up to the landlord. The specifics of such a termination, if even allowed, are entirely up to the landlord. So while it's not a necessary element to have such a citation, it is something that the landlord can require.

Customer:

Please note My duplex was sold to a company that is planning on plowing it down to build city homes.

ScottyMacESQ :

That is, there's no law that says that there even has to be a lease termination clause in the first place.

ScottyMacESQ :

Now to be clear, the landlord is saying that you have to tell him the dates that you will vacate?

Customer:

My home/duplex I had been renting for a few years and the duplexes around me were sold to a builder who plans to demolish them and build city homes


The property was sold 6 or more months ago but I was not informed until Sept 22. My lease was to expire in Jan. I was told by my selling landlord that he was sure the company that bought the place had no problem with us terminating or lease. The next morning I called the company that had purchased the properties to find out. I spoke to the person listed in the letter from my selling Landlord and explained my situation and asked if I found something before Jan could I be released from the remainder of the lease. She called me back and said yes.


I thanked her and asked that they send me that via email or mail and she said she would. I proceeded to start to look as I did not want to wait and do so during holidays plus due to some family dynamics I needed a special place kind of. I took these people at their word and actively looked on the following Sunday I found something suitable for my needs but there was multiple tenants interested and the potentially new landlord would not hold so taking them at their word I signed a lease and gave a deposit. Only to find out they now wantd a 30 day notice. This was not mentioned in our previous conversation. As a matter of fact My exact word were "can I move as soon as I find something suitable" and I was told YES.

Customer:

He believes me to have already vacted and wants me to admit to that I think

ScottyMacESQ :

But you don't have anything in writing where they agreed to this? IT was only verbally agreed to?

Customer:

yes...I know I know Always get it in writing but I took them at their word and signed a lease for a new place gave a 2800 depost

ScottyMacESQ :

And to be clear, you don't have anything in writing in your lease as to a termination and what you have to do?

Customer:

They are offering a lease termination but says I have to give dates that I vacated to put in the lease termination. I suggested they use the date I was told verbally and he says that is unreasonable

Customer:

No the lease says 30 days notice and the but the lease is also between me and someone that doesn't own the property anymore

ScottyMacESQ :

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Again, this is not something that is required at all by law, and as such, the terms under which a lease cancellation will occur is entirely up to the contracting parties. This is going to be governed by contract law. As such, any modifications to a written lease will typically have to be in writing to be enforceable. This is particularly true if your lease specifically says that modifications will have to be in writing (check to make sure). If it doesn't have that clause, then it's possible that you could have an equitable case against the owner for "promissory estoppel".

ScottyMacESQ :

As for the lease not being between you and the owner, unless the lease specifically says otherwise, the new owner takes the property subject to the lease. That means that rights and obligations of the previous owner extends to the new owner.

ScottyMacESQ :

So the new owner can enforce those rigts.

ScottyMacESQ :

*rights

ScottyMacESQ :

(and would have the same obligations as the old one)

Customer:

But shouldn't I have been notified there was a new owner?

ScottyMacESQ :

I certainly think that you should have been notified. There's no law that requires that you be notified. There would only be an equitable "estoppel" law that they couldn't complain about you not paying the new owner if you were not notified.

Customer:

Is there an atty in Houston I can call about this...are you in Houston?

ScottyMacESQ :

I am north of Houston, but I cannot accept clients through this site (unfortunately) per the terms of service of this site. You can contact the Houston Lawyer Referral Service (http://hlrs.org/).

ScottyMacESQ :

But this is Texas law, so you'd be told the exact same thing that I told you...

Customer:

If you don't mind explain equitable estopple again

Customer:

sorry..I am dense when it comes to this stuff

ScottyMacESQ :

If they don't tell you that there's a new owner, and you continue to pay the old owner, they can't evict you for nonpayment of rent merely because you didn't pay the new one. That would be their fault. Only once you have notice that you have to pay the new one could they then complain about you not paying the new one.

ScottyMacESQ :

That's the idea behind that. It would be inequitable to hold you accountable for things that the other side did not inform you about in the first place. The other side can't make you "breach" the contract by not giving you information.

Customer:

Well for five months I paid the old LL and he gave it to the new one. But once I knew I had to move by Jan I asked to get out of the lese and the said verbally fine. Since htey were going to demolish the place I took them at there word

ScottyMacESQ :

I understand. Again, though, without something in writing, that's not going to be actionable against them (except equitably) to the extent that you relied upon a promise, that was reasonable under the circumstances, to your detriment, AND that it was not inconsistent with a written contarct.

ScottyMacESQ :

Assuming that you can show all those elements, you could still sue for "promissory estoppel" in small claims court for the actual amount of damages that you have been harmed (that is, the amount that you would not have spent had they not made that promise to you)

Customer:

But He does not need a date of vacte to write up a lease termination right...we can choose any date right

ScottyMacESQ :

Like I said, there's nothing in the law that governs what needs to be provided. If the lease says that something has to be provided, the lease will control. If there's nothing in the lease about that, then it would be up to what the landlord and tenant can agree on.

Customer:

ok thanks

ScottyMacESQ :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

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