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Your Questions About Cheap 1 Bedroom Apartments In Orange County

February 18, 2013

Chris asks…

Landlord is selling duplex-what does it mean for tenants?

My girlfriend’s father owns a duplex. One side is rented to me and my girlfriend, and the other is rented to an older couple.

He rents really cheap for the area (Orange County, bordering Huntington Beach) as his properties have been mostly for Section 8 people. We pay less than 1k per month for a 1 bedroom with a huge private yard and washer-dryer hookups. We pay no basic utilities.

My girlfriend’s father recently passed away and the property fell to his wife. She has to sell it to pay off her mortgage.

I don’t even think we have a renter’s agreement signed. The plan originally was to stay in the duplex for free in exchange for fixing up the property after some hoarders were evicted. We never got around to making all the necessary repairs, but we painted and moved all of our furniture in and eventually we just started paying rent.

This is my home and if we had to move we’d have to just rent a single room in a house and lord knows what I’d do with my brand new washer and dryer I’m not even done paying off. Also we have 2 cats.

What sort of steps should we take?
What can we expect of this change?
Can the new owner make us paint all the walls back the way they were?
Can the new owner evict us based on the state of the apartment even though the damage was from a previous tenant?
Can the new owner make us pay a security deposit on our pets even though they’ve been here for 2 years?
Is it common practice for new owners to increase the rent? How much notice would we receive? Is there a way to contest it?
What’s going to happen to us if we don’t have a renter’s agreement?

Administrator answers:

The most common things that happen is this:

The buyers must honor any lease that is in force at the time of sale. If you just signed a 12 month lease, the buyer must honor the terms of that lease until it expires. No lease? Then you are considered a month-to-month renter. The buyer can have you sign a lease, a new month-to=month rental agreement or terminate your residency with a 30 day notice.

Wall paint? Depends upon what you have now. If you have a gaudy color, then probably the new owners can make you repaint, but I wouldn’t make the offer to repaint if you are forced to move. The new owners probably have no clue as to what the original wall color was.

You won’t be evicted – that carries a negative connotation which requires a court order. But your residency could be terminated which does not require a court order.

A security deposit can be charged at the end of the lease period or rental period. If one was collected when you moved in, the new owners owe you the refund upon move out, not the previous owners. You can’t be required to pay a new deposit to the new owners. But if they increase the amount, you are only required to pay the difference. But it sounds like you weren’t required to pay a deposit.

It’s common practice for current owners and new owners to increase rents to cover the costs of running and maintaining the premises.

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