What are the Tenant’s Rights When the Landlord Sells their Property During Covid-19?*

Landlord sells their property – As a landlord, it is essential you understand all the legalities surrounding selling a property with tenants still in residence. With the onset of the pandemic, there was a lot of concern surrounding tenants’ rights. So, it is important for both the landlord and the tenant to be aware of all rights afforded the tenant. 

Learning that their home is being sold can be scary for a renter. Clear communication during the process is absolutely necessary to keep the situation calm. Let’s take a look at tenant’s rights during and after Covid.

Tenant’s Rights During Covid

Utah’s statewide emergency protection for renters has expired. Landlords are now able to operate as usual within the laws provided. When they were in effect, Governor Gary Herbert ordered a freeze on the enforcement of evictions. This applied to anyone who had lost income or jobs due to COVID-19.

For anyone that believes they were evicted or had rights violated during this time, they must be able to prove that it applied to them. Eviction and enforcement proceedings have started again. Landlords may choose to sell with their tenants still in the home or legally incentivize a tenant’s move. They can do this in a few different ways.

  • Cash for Keys 
    • Offering to pay a tenant to move
  • Send an Early Termination Notice
    • Any violation of the lease gives the landlord legal rights to terminate it according to the early termination clause in the lease
  • Offer to sell to the renter
    • You and the renter won’t have to deal with showings or other hassles this way. 
Tenant’s Rights When the Landlord Sells their Property

General Tenant Rights

Tenant rights vary from state to state, but there are several that are common in most states. 

  • A right to notice before showings
    • State laws afford tenants between 24 and 48 hours of notice before a showing. Some states just say “reasonable notice” which is subject to interpretation, though it’s better to err on the side of caution. The point of this is to avoid violating their privacy. It gives them a chance to tidy up the space and be fully prepared for strangers to enter their home. These communications should all be in writing. 
  • A right to reasonably scheduled hours
    • Landlords must not only give advance notice but be courteous about the timing. Late nights or early mornings are not reasonable hours. They must be agreed upon by both parties.
  • A right to receive notice to vacate the property
    • Tenants have the right to know when they need to be completely moved out. The date may be on the lease, or it may be a month-to-month agreement either way written notice must be provided. The terms must be honored even if the property is sold. 
  • A right to accept a lease termination payout
    • This is the cash for keys method of incentivizing payout. The tenant has no obligation to accept. It is a legal method to ensure the tenant is out sooner than originally anticipated. 
  • A right to occupy the property after it has sold
    • The lease or rental agreement is with the property, not the owner. If the home sells while occupied the renter can legally live there until their lease expires. The new owner has no choice but to honor the original lease.
  • A right to their security deposit
    • The tenant has a right to their security deposit at the time they leave, even if the place has a new owner. The new owner may still deduct from the deposit if any damage has occurred in the home, according to the lease agreement. 
  • A right to a well-maintained property
    • Even when trying to sell the house, the landlord must keep the place inhabitable for their tenants. Utilities must be working, the property in good condition, and repairs must be addressed. 
  • A right to 30-day notice to vacate the property
    • If the lease has a ‘termination due to sale’ clause, the landlord can end the lease early. They must give the tenant 30 days to leave the property after a sale. 
  • A right to occupy after foreclosure
    • It isn’t the tenant’s fault the owner had financial trouble. After a foreclosure, the tenant doesn’t have to leave right after a sale. They can usually stay until the end of their lease. In the case of month-to-month leases, the tenant must be given a 90-day notice. 

Specific Tenant Rights: Utah

Every state has different regulations regarding the rights of landlords and tenants. When selling a property with tenants in Utah, specific requirements must be met. 

  • After deciding to sell the property, a landlord must give tenants 60- day notice of the decision.
  • A tenant must be given a 14- day notice before the first viewing is scheduled. 
  • A landlord must make the tenant aware of all dates and times of viewing.

With the tenant’s consent, you cannot:

  • Enter the property before 8 am and after 8 pm
  • Schedule any appointments or viewings on Sunday or a holiday
  • Take pictures of the tenant’s personal property
  • Post a For Sale Sign
  • Hold an auction on site 

Avoid the Hassles of Utah Real Estate

Instead of worrying about selling on your own or finding a decent realtor, consider selling your home directly. Fast Home Offer Utah is a company that buys houses as is. They pay cash and help you avoid the months of listing, showings, and waiting that comes with the traditional selling method. 

Save time and effort by eliminating all the expenses and duties that come with selling your home. Submit a form on our website and get a fair cash offer within 24 hours. Pick your closing date and sell on your terms within seven days. No contracts, commissions, or cleaning are required, and we even cover the closing costs. Contact us today to learn more. 

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