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Did my landlord fail to provide full disclosure on pending sale or negotiate in bad faith?

Washington, DC |

I rented an apartment 6 weeks ago. When I signed my lease the manager disclosed the building was for sale. I queried this extensively, however, I was told a buyer had not yet been found. After moving in, I discovered the sale was underway. A tenant's association had been formed and an agreement in principal was made between the buyer and TA. This agreement includes modernization of the building and other capital investments. Although rents will be preserved, I'm very concerned about the apartment turning into a construction zone. I work from home several days per week and noise is a serious concern. Since arriving, I've experienced cockroaches (improving, but still present) and noise above regulations (unresolved). I'm looking to amicably cancel my lease, but also hope I have just cause.

Attorney Answers 2


The sale of the building doesn't cancel your lease but if the new owners plan to do renovations and the soon to be prior owner just wants to sell, you may be able to negotiate your way out of the lease. The new owner will likely want to choose their own tenants and do renovations without hassle so you may be doing them a favor.

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Many thanks Emilie! I understand the sale doesn't negate the lease but was wondering instead if the Landlord negotiated in bad faith by not revealing the full details of the sale and associated contracts that had already been agreed (not to mention the name of the new buyer who does not have a good reputation amongst corporate landlords). Had this information been disclosed, it would certainly have influenced my decision. Either way, I think you're right and I'm hopeful I can achieve an amicable settlement. Would you recommend I contact the new owners too? They are in regular contact with the TA (as the TA actually selected the winning bid). I do not have a security deposit, but am willing to pay a month's rent to simply get out early.


I agree with Emilie. Go to the manager and politely explain your situation and the unresolved concerns. Generally, when tenants are amicable and reasonable, the building is happy to find a middle ground. If nothing else, you should be able to get the roaches and noise issues resolved to make your time in the building more pleasant.

I hope you found this response to be helpful. If so, please click "best answer" and/or "helpful." Avvo is a a very useful resource, but does not create an attorney-client relationship, and cannot replace an in-depth consultation with a lawyer.

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