Rent Coach

Rent Coach: Renewing your lease when the landlord wants to sell

By Mike Akerly  | November 3, 2011 - 10:17AM

Q. I have been renting my apartment for the past year and my lease is about to expire.  My landlord would like to renew it, but she also wants to sell the apartment at some point during the lease.  How could this affect me?

A. If your landlord were to sell the apartment, the purchaser would be buying it subject to your lease.  That means that you would have the right to continue living there until the lease ends.  At that point, it would be up to the new owner to decide whether to renew it again. 

If you are going to agree to renew now, there are a couple of things you should consider. 

Insist on a provision in the renewal agreement that lays out the procedure for showing your apartment when it’s on the market.  Decide on things like: 1) how often can she show it? 2) What kind of notice do you need before an appointment? 3) Will open houses be permitted and if so, how often? 

You might also consider asking for a rent reduction for any month during which showings occur.  Agree on that, and the amount your rent will be reduced by, in your renewal agreement.  Lastly, ask to meet her broker before the apartment is on the market.  You will want to develop a good rapport with him or her and lay out the parameters on which you will cooperate with each other.


Mike Akerly is a New York City real estate attorney, landlord, and real estate broker. He is also the publisher of the Greenwich Village blog VillageConfidential


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.