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LANDLORD SELLING HOUSE

My question involves my rights as a tenant when my landlord notified me by text that due to divorce they were going to put the house on the market and according to her realtor we should have 30 to 45 days after the sale to vacate. We signed a 1 year lease agreement effective from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012. In March of 2012 we were asked via text if we wanted to renew the lease with a $500 per month increase. We responded that we could not afford that but could do $1950. They responded that they would accept $1950 for six months, but would require $2050 for the next six months. We asked if a one year lease agreement for $2000 per month would be acceptable. They responded that it would be and they would bring by the new lease agreement to sign. In April 2012 we started paying $2000 per month, but they never brought the new lease agreement by to sign, claiming they have been to busy. Now that we have been informed that they plan to sell, do I have a lease allowing me to stay through the remainder. My thoughts are that if the landlord is under the assumption that we do not have a binding lease agreement since they never brought it to sign, then I have been overpaying for 8 months and they owe me $2400. If they are under the assumption that we have a binding agreement, then I can stay through the lease term or they can buy me out. If it matters, I still have all of the text messages. Please help.
  • October 23 2012 - San Antonio
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Answers (6)

Based on your comments, you do not have a binding lease and therefore you would be on a month to month tenancy as provided for in your original lease agreement (assuming you used TAR lease form). 

Regarding real estate, if it ain't it writing (excluding emails / texts) it doesn't exist.  A text message will not suffice.

I would prepare to move instead of standing on what will ultimately be very shaky ground.  
  • October 23 2012
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Thank you, I appreciate everyone's input! 


  • October 23 2012
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Please investigate those renter resource links found within the link I provided previously.

Text messages are in the iffy area, but haven't yet been shown to carry weight vs signatures on legal contracts in anything I can find, but I'm not an attorney and even more so ignorant of Texas laws.

Good luck.
  • October 23 2012
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Yea unfortunately you dont have an active lease and the owner only required to give you 30 or 60 days depends on your lease term to let you let  out.

Dixon
  • October 23 2012
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Thank you, wedawgs. Would this be the case even if I have a text message from the landlord stating that we have a 1 year lease agreement? Wouldn't that be better than a verbal agreement?
  • October 23 2012
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If you haven't signed the lease agreement for this year, you don't have have a lease agreement,  therefore,  you would  most likely be considered a month to month tenant.    This means the amount of notice they have to give you is what is described in your state's landlord tenant guide.   With this link there are some resources for tenant help. 

As your previous lease has expired, the monthly rent from that agreement has also expired. 
  • October 23 2012
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