Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in New Jersey

On Tuesday, July 9, 2019 we received an email from the Property Manager asking if we intended to renew our lease for another twelve months (property is bank owned and Property Manager is the authorized agent for the bank/landlord). A response email was sent on that day with our intention to renew. On Wednesday, July 10 we received the new lease to sign via DocuSign. The lease was completed by all parties including the Property Manager and an email from DocuSign was received with the completed lease that same day. On Friday, July 12 we received a phone call and an email from the Property Management team stating that the bank has decided that they want to sell the property and that we need to vacate the property within 60 days and that they were not going to offer us a renewal. The only offer they are extending is they would consider us if we wanted to buy the house. Is what our landlord doing legal? Do we have a binding lease renewal and the right to stay in the residence?

Asked on 7/18/19, 3:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Corbett Corbett Law Firm LLC

Based on the information that you have given, you have a valid lease renewal for whatever term is specified in the new lease. (Be sure to save your copy signed by all parties.) Unless the new lease itself has a term that permits the bank to terminate the lease if it sells, the bank's unilateral change in position does not affect your rights as a tenant. Of course, the bank can sell the property to another landlord, but that buyer would take the property subject to the lease and your rights in the lease. The new landlord would then be subject to New Jersey's Anti-Eviction Act and must renew the lease except under the conditions that the statute lists. That said, you should be sure to check the new lease carefully. If the bank obtained the property in a foreclosure, your lease may contain a move-out provision or may be subject to a "subordination" clause that extends back to your original lease term. So, before you do anything important, read the lease carefully or get a lawyer to look it over.

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Answered on 7/19/19, 2:49 pm

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