No lease and house I rent is up for sale, Do I have to pay rent?

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A question by Jessica:   The house I rent is up for sale. I don’t have a lease or any paperwork indicating I rent that house. The last lease was signed in 2008 by my father and he’s passed away since. I ve been living there over 10 years. I know I have to eventually move out but do I continue to pay rent? I will need to save money to rent another place. Update: I LIVE IN NJ BY THE WAY


Provide a response using the comment section. After review we will update the answers.

Certainly, if you reside in the US. Your occupancy of the leased premises is converted to “month to month” occupancy after your formal lease expires, which means that you are still a tenant and continue to pay rent at the previous lease rate. There is nothing that can be enforced if you did not make a verbal agreement to pay rent and you did not sign any paperwork or a rental agreement with your landlord. Before allowing you to move in, your landlord was required to obtain a written agreement or at the very least a verbal promise. The judge has no power to stop an eviction if the landlord wants to kick you out and tries to start one in court.


“Yes, you are responsible for rent as long as you are there. If you are not on a lease in NJ, it is legally month-to-month. You can be sued for unpaid rent even after leaving the place, for the time you were there.

PS: Even a “sweetheart deal” in a lease with the former owner can be rejected in court. (That’s the term NJ law uses, “Well, since you’ve been a good tenant all these years at $1500 a month, I’ll write you a lease for $1000 since I’m selling the place!” A judge will reject it and say you owe the $1500.)

I thumbed up every other here- all correct. Being from NJ and a house renter, I added a few details although they are true in other states too. Rarely do you see such unanimity in YA, especially in this category.

A landlord in NJ can give a 60-day notice to leave, effective on the 1st date of the month after the notice is issued if it issued past the 1st.

“Of course, you pay rent when you live somewhere. Rent isn’t free ever. If you had a lease, then the new owner would have to honor it. But you don’t so you only require 30 days notice to be asked to leave. The same goes for you…you have to give 30 days notice too. There’s more to it but it depends on the state where you live….”


“Yes, you pay rent. You don’t get to live there for nothing. The fact that the property is being sold has nothing to do with you other than that, in the absence of a lease and you being a month-to-month tenant, you must be given advance notice to vacate, per state law. You could move any time you want by giving the same notice. But you owe for the time you live there.”


“Pay rent. You are a month-to-month tenant. There is an eviction process to kick you out.

When the house sells the rent will be set to market rate. That will be a big jump. Look at rent rates to see if moving is the way to go.


“Of course, you pay rent, you are living in a rental house, you don’t get free living just because the landlord is selling his property, you saving for another rental is your issue not your landlords, so unless you want notice to leave and a court ordered CCJ to pay your debt which no other landlord will then rent to you, you will pay your rent on time and look for another place to move to giving the correct notice period to your present landlord.”


“Yes, you are required to pay rent up until the day you actually leave the rented house.

You not having a sufficient amount to find another rental is not your landlord’s fault nor is it his business. You are required to have a sufficient amount of funds for such emergencies. This is called a savings account.

In the event you fail to pay the rent, your current landlord is able to sue you in small claims court for any unpaid rent and perhaps late fees or damages to the rental unit not covered by the deposit.

I hope this has been of some benefit to you, good luck



“If the owner that is selling the house does not have your information at all (your name), and you didn’t sign anything, then they can’t sue you if you don’t pay rent. But what if they lock you out for not paying?”

“Why would you think the owner wouldn’t want to charge you rent. Did they indicate that they’d offer the place to you for free?

You would of course pay rent. Even if it’s in foreclosure, you’d owe rent. And, if you don’t pay, you could be evicted and/or sued.”

“Yes. Nothing is free, and why should it be? Start looking for a new place, and start saving. The new owners may or may not want tenants, or may increase the rent so be prepared for those possibilities.”


“Ha, ha, ha, and yes, you are having to pay rent.

Absent of a written lease, you are a month-to-month tenant. Your lease automatically renews itself every 30 days.”

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