I am currently renting a house from my landlord. They just told us we have to be out in 90 days and wont renew the lease because they sold the house and didnt give us any notice it was being sold. I am living here with my husband and 5 young kids. Is there anything I can do?
Real Estate Attorney
If your lease is not currently in effect, then 90 days seems sufficient notice. If your lease is ongoing, the new owner must honor the terms of your lease.
Pursuant to NJSA 2A:18-61.1(l)(3) [that's a lower-case "L"], a residential landlord who sells the property to a buyer who "wishes to personally occupy [the leased premises] and the contract for sale calls for the unit to be vacant at the time of closing" a landlord may lawfully move to evict a tenant. For such an eviction, notice is required.
As for the length of the notice and whether it's appropriate, it depends on the nature of your lease. If you have a year-to-year lease, then 90 days is sufficient. If it's month-to-month, the LL need only provide one month's advance notice.
Your LL does not need to give you notice of a sale, or of the intention to sell the house, UNLESS your lease contains a first right of refusal or option to purchase, or other covenant which would put you in a position to have a right to purchase the house.
As far as what you can do, regrettably I suggest you start looking for alternative housing. If you are unable to find alternative housing in three months, you can request a stay from the court for hardship. This may or may not be granted depending on the totality of facts/circumstances surrounding this matter (including the disposition of the buyer, who is an ostensibly innocent party in all of this.)
If you run into significant problems, you should contact an attorney in your area (of which there are many excellent attorneys) to assist you.
The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you feel you need to speak with an attorney regarding your issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney with expertise in your area of inquiry. The information related above is purely for informational purposes, and should not be acted upon without speaking with qualified counsel familiar with you specific situation and the laws related thereto.
Real Estate Attorney
When property buyers insist that the premises are vacated, most buyers will not close title until the tenants leave the premises. If the buyer does not include tenant eviction as part of the contract for sale, then the buyer could be compelled to accept title with the tenant still in residence. As Mr. Keppler indicated, NJSA 2A:18-61.1(l)(3) controls this situation.
From the tenant's perspective, I'm not sure the tenant can demand to see a copy of the contract to determine if it contains language requiring the current owner to evict the tenants prior to closing of title. I suppose there is little downside tot he tenant in asking to see a copy of the contract. I recommend the tenant immediately start looking for alternate housing, and write a politely worded letter to its landlord asking for a copy of the contract for sale (without referencing any rights or statutes.)
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Real Estate Attorney
I must disagree somewhat with my colleagues. The 90 day notice served upon you is sufficient so long as you are not asked to vacate during the term of your lease. However, 60 days notice is required to evict a tenant due to a sale to a buyer who wishes to personally occupy the home or condominium unit. This is true whether you have a lease or are a month to month tenant.
Employment / Labor Attorney
I agree with my colleague's answers. First and foremost, check your lease.