My Landlord Sold My Apartment! Now What? (Article)
So your landlord sold the building . . . now what?
The sale of your building may affect your rights, including your right to stay in your apartment.
If you don't have a lease:
If you don't have a lease, your rights as a tenant to stay in your apartment will end with the sale. The new owner should let you stay for at least as long as you have paid for. You and your new owner can make a new agreement. If your new owner accepts rent from you, then you have a new tenancy.
If you recorded your lease:
If you recorded your lease at the local office of the parish recorder, you probably have the right to stay until the end of your lease term. This is because if your lease is recorded, the new owner was on notice of the lease when he chose to buy the property. Read your lease to see if it says anything different.
If you did NOT record your lease:
If you did not record your lease, you only have the right to stay until the end of your lease term if your landlord sold the building with a requirement that the new owner acknowledges your lease. Without this requirement, the new owner may have the right to evict you. The new owner must still go through the legal eviction process to evict you.
If the new owner evicts you before the end of your lease term, you may have a damages claim against your old landlord.
Does the New Landlord Have to Give Me a Notice to Vacate Before I Can Be Evicted?
Yes. Even if you are a month-to-month tenant, the new owner must give you at least a 5 day written notice to vacate. If the new owner accepted rent from you and let you stay for a while, that can be interpreted as an “assumption” of your month-to-month tenancy. If that is the case, the new owner must give you at least 10 days’ notice before the end of the month that he will not be renewing your month-to-month tenancy before filing an eviction.
If you are not out by the end of the notice period, the new owner can file a lawsuit to evict you.
What Happens to My Security Deposit?
If your building is sold during your lease, your landlord must give your security deposit to the new owner. When the lease ends, the new owner is responsible for the return of your deposit. If the new owner claims he did not get the deposit in the sale, you may have to go after the old owner as well.