Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Louisiana

The owner is moving

One month ago, I moved into a apartment located in the landlords home. After two weeks, he informed me that he and his wife have decided to move and sell the house. I signed a one-year lease. What are my rights in staying in the apartment after new owners purchase the house? And if I'm forced to move, can I collect expenses such as utility activation and moving expenses?

Asked on 4/20/98, 12:37 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Darrell Hickman Spears & Hickman

Protecting your lease rights

You have signed a one year lease with the landlord who has informed you that he intends to sell the house. In order to protect your rights against any potential purchaser of the house, you will have to file a copy of your lease in the conveyance records of the clerk of court in the parish where the house is located. Once the lease is filed in the records, any purchaser of the property will buy the house subject to your lease and cannot (without sufficient cause) cancel the lease without your approval. Once you have filed the lease, this will make it more difficult for the present owner to sell the house because the new owner would be stuck with your lease. You may use this as a bargaining tool with the present owner in order to get him to help you with your moving expenses. I will be happy to discuss this matter with you further if you so desire.

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Answered on 5/06/98, 12:21 pm

Richard Lemmler, Jr. R.P. Lemmler, Jr., Attorney At Law

Uncertain Future...

Much of your situation and its outcome depends upon the lease that you signed--before giving you an opinion, I would need to read over your lease in depth to determine what your rights are and what you can and cannot do. A written lease essentially governs the relationship and limitations between landlord and tenant. A written lease may also change or modify the general provisions of law with respect to a landlord/tenant situation. You may have a right to stay or negotitate something with the new owner &/or your current landlord--it all depends upon your lease.

I can review your lease and give you my professional legal opinion for $25.00--my minimum consultation charge for a 1/2 hour consultation. You may mail a copy to me, fax a copy to me or call me to make an appointment if you are close to my office in New Orleans and want to speak in person. In any event, I will need the $25.00 consultation fee prior to my giving you my legal opinion--you can send it with the lease or pay me at my office after the consultation. No $$, no legal opinion. Sorry, but all I sell is my professional time and advice.

Do not delay--your rights may be lost or affected to your detriment by simply doing nothing. I advise seeing a lawyer for a consultation and review of your lease ASAP.

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Answered on 5/06/98, 12:22 pm

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