Tenants, no need to worry about your lease when your building is for sale

Your Guide accompanied an appraisal at a Bucktown Three Flat this morning.  During the course of giving notice to the current residents of the building the question was raised whether the building was for sale?  And what might happen to the leases?

3127 Kenmore Ext_edited I almost dismissed the topic without giving it much thought since the topic has been covered before and we thought it was thoroughly explained.  But with the anxious undertones in the voice of the tenant that posed the question, it seems that the subject is worth visiting again.

Leases stay in place

Tenants, if you are in the middle of a lease, your lease stays in place.

Even if the building sells and a new landlord takes over, the current lease terms transfer to the new owner.  Your lease is simply signed over to the new owner, and the terms all stay the same.  The original landlord will customarily write you a letter telling you of the sale and giving you the information for the new landlord.  This is so that you know where to send off your rent checks after the sale.

The sale does not give the new owner the opportunity to “kick out” all the current tenants.  You may remain in your apartment for the rest of your lease.  The sale does not give the new landlord the opportunity to raise the rents, either.  You make the same payment amount – simply to the new owner.

Top Ten Tips for Tenants during a sale

  1. Yes, you have to let your landlord show your apartment to prospective buyers.
  2. You can ask for proper notice – typically 48 hours in Chicago.
  3. You can’t demand that showings only take place when you are home.  Most of the time showings will occur during the day, during the week.
  4. Typical showings will only take a few minutes in your apartment.
  5. But when the building sells, there will be appraisals and inspections.  These appointments will take longer – as long as 45 minutes in your apartment.
  6. The expiration date of your lease stays the same.  You can’t get kicked out.
  7. The amount of your rent stays the same.  The new owner can’t raise your rent during the current lease.
  8. Your security deposit gets transferred to the new owner.
  9. Your old landlord should send you a letter notifying you when the building sells so you know that you should send your rent to a new landlord.
  10.   Tenants can read the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance at http://www.chicityclerk.com/tenantsVRSlandlords.php