When a property is sold, the new owner is legally bound by the existing lease agreement. Rent payment should only be made to the verified owner or authorized representative, ensuring caution and requesting a copy of the property deed for verification.
motenanthelpLast updated 07/19/2023
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Lease terms with new property owner
Normally, if you have a written lease with your landlord, and your landlord sells the property, the new owner is bound to the lease you signed with your former landlord. The new owner cannot change any of the lease terms, including the amount of rent you pay, without your permission.
Beware of scams and paying rent
Beware of the “fake landlord.” Never pay rent to a stranger. Do not pay rent to anyone unless you are sure that the person is either the new owner or someone authorized by the new owner to collect rent. A landlord is required to provide the required notice. If the landlord doesn't, the landlord cannot recover past due rent.
What the landlord is required to attach to the notice depends on the "classification" of the county. In a Class 1 County, a landlord must attach either a copy of the deed or a notarized affidavit about the sale signed by both the old owner and new owner. a deed is a document that describes the property. The deed will state the old and new owner’s names.
In other counties, the new owner must attach a copy of the deed.
If the new owner will not show you the proof required in your county, you do not have to pay rent to the new owner. When the new owner notifies you of the change and shows you the required documents, this process is called “attornment.”
Rent payment and deed verification process
If the person claiming to be the new owner proves to be the new owner, or someone authorized by the new owner to collect rent, you have no choice but to pay the rent and should do so immediately.
A copy of the deed for the property you rent can also be found at your local Recorder of Deed’s Office, usually located in the city hall.
Changes to month-to-month lease with new owner
If you rent month-to-month, the new owner is bound to the terms of your agreement with the old landlord. However, normally the new owner can change the terms of the agreement, or terminate the tenancy, after giving you written notice of the proposed change at least one month before the next rent payment is due.