Landlord is selling home via OpenDoor, asking me to vacate ASAP

15 Replies

Hi there! 

My landlord reached out to me via email regarding their need to sell the home I currently rent, as they are attempting to buy a home out of state for their child. They are selling via OpenDoor, which requires the house to be vacant prior to selling it.

They offered to assist with moving expenses in the amount of $500, but when I moved in 3 years ago, my moving-related costs were much higher than $500 and it wasn't a move that occurred on such short notice. She also promised to give me a great reference. The major issue is that she's asking if I could vacate within 3 weeks and pay prorated rent for the month of August, but she'll offer $500 to assist with moving expenses. $500 doesn't really cover a lot, and I am also tasked with finding a suitable home in a few weeks. She also stated they would rush the return of my security deposit, as long as there is no major damage (there isn't) and no missing appliances (there isn't).

The lease provides 60-day notice in the event the landlord decides to sell the home or, for whatever reason, needs the tenant to vacate, but I am not looking for 60 days or any additional time outside of what she is providing (20 days). I just want to ensure I am not being foolish for accepting $500 and just moving out as soon as possible. Again, we have had a great relationship, so I would not want to make this any more difficult than it needs to be for my landlord, as I am sure she isn't looking to do to me. However, I also do not want to make a stupid split decision and didn't know if there is a typical or common incentive given to tenants when a landlord wants the tenant to move out on very short notice, a good 40 days shorter notice than what the lease provides. Or, does the offer, as it stands, sound like it's advantageous to us both?

Thank you for any insight you can provide! I appreciate your time!

Updated over 2 years ago

Update - I live in NC and my lease automatically renewed, month-to-month, but with a clause for both landlord and tenant to provide for a 60 day notice on the 1st of the month, i.e., the 60 days would start on August 1st, rather than July 23rd.

@Amanda Hall to me, it sounds more advantageous to your landlord. You have to rush to find suitable housing, and do all that is involved it making that transition.

Opendoor allows you to pick a closing date, so they chose to sell that quickly and ask you to leave. They could have, just as easily, set a closing date 40 days from now and give you more time.

I would ask for more time, and last months rent free, instead of the $500

**Assuming that your Lease is still current... and that the Lease term isn't up in less than 60 days:   

 Nope!  Sit on it.   Tell them that 20 days is not acceptable (Be REALLY nice and explain it to them exactly as you have done here.) Work with them, but be advised that they're lowballing you on BOTH your time and their money.  Your Lease gives you the RIGHT to stay put for at least that 60 days.   (Does the Lease tell you when the clock starts? Do you need WRITTEN notice? That would be the usual way.)  

So...   you can offer to leave in 20 but ask them for more money ($1000 moving costs plus your last months' FULL rent back as an inconvenience?) Can you afford First, last and Security in the new place? If not, that should be a consideration, too. 

Don't know where you live (state?) but even in a month-to-month scenario, MOST jurisdictions offer 30 days as reasonable.  They should at least meet that threshold.  

The other option is that they offer you some reasonable access to another place.   If they have multiple rentals and a vacancy,  for example, you can ask for $1000 and to ride out the rest of the lease there. 

Do NOT let them threaten you with the Security deposit concerns.  Again in MOST jurisdictions, that is YOUR MONEY and they're just holding it for you.  YMMV. Again, this is where knowing your state would help, and others can chime in.  

All else fails, Get an attorney to write them a cordial letter.   You don't have to be nasty, but you shouldn't have to bend over backwards for someone else's windfall, either.     

Good luck.  

Sorry! To clarify, my landlord wants me to vacate her rental within 20 days because she is selling it via OpenDoor. In return, they are offering me $500 in moving costs and to prorate August rent for however many days it takes me to vacate. They also promised to rush the return of my security deposit as long as there is no major damage and no missing appliances. 

Is this acceptable in return for what she is asking me to do, which would be to vacate within 20 days, i.e., move my family of 4 in just short of 3 weeks, when the lease provides for a 60-day notice? Should I seek additional move-in costs or ask for additional time? I am not sure what makes the most sense here. 

Your landlord is being a selfish *******. Tell them you will try to find a place and move ASAP but you doubt you can get it done in 3 weeks. That is an insane timeline. How many are you paying in rent per month? Them even asking for prorated rent for the last 3 weeks when they want you out now is ballsy IMO. And how nice that they'll rush you back your security deposit if you followed the lease that they want to wipe with right now. How nice of them to give you back your own money a coupe weeks quicker than they're legally required. If you can't afford to move right now than tell them that and maybe they'll bump that weak $500 cash for keys offer. I am annoyed just thinking about this because it is so insulting to even ask this of you. 

For those asking, I live in NC and my lease automatically renewed, month-to-month, but with a clause for both landlord and tenant to provide for a 60-day notice on the 1st of the month, i.e., the 60 days would start on August 1st, rather than July 23rd. I pay $1200 per month in rent, which is on the higher end for my area. 

Yeah, you are Definitely doing them a favor. 

I’d ask for:

Move out end of August

Free rent for August

$1,000 minimum moving expense, payable by August 1st  

Assuming you are willing to do that. 

$500.00 is not much for moving expenses, considering the fact that she will get $$$ for the house when she sells. I agree with the others, that 20 days is not sufficient time to look for a place and move out. Considering how long you have been there, ask for 60 days, and see in the listing of OpenDoor if the property you are renting is listed. (Do your homework). The advantage is the landlord,(always is). Do you have family in the area who can assist you in looking for a place, etc? You will also need expenses to look for a place, so again the $500.00 is nothing. When is the landlord lady planning to give you your deposit back, the day the house is clear for showing to sell? And will the sec. dep. be enough for a new place? And you mentioned the 'Clause,' of the lease, of giving you a 60-day notice, something the landlord is not upholding her end of the bargain. Not good at all. Keep the lease in hand and see if you can go to LegalAid to assist you in this. She is breaking out of her own lease as a landlord that she wrote herself. Also, take photos of the place. She may come later at you and say you left it in a mess. Although am from CA. I looked up tenant-landlord rights, HUD for NC. Wishing you the best.

Reading through these responses, I feel really naive. I was thinking in the perspective of what I would want someone to do for me but didn't consider how little she considered my family when she sent the email. It also made me think if the tables were turned and I wanted to break a $1200/monthly lease 40 days early for $500, how willing she'd be to accept it. I have some thinkin' to do! :) Thanks, y'all! 

Amanda, glad you are taking the advice to care for your needs and mind what's in that lease. Don't do anyone a favor, not even landlords.  Yes, many here are landlords, but for the most part, respect the terms set in the lease. It is there for a reason, like this—sometimes, people take advantage of others!

In addition to more move out $, free rent for August I would have them hand you your security deposit along with a good reference letter when you turn in the keys.  Don't cave in. 

@Amanda Hall

Your first post was clear enough. You’re getting shafted. $500, you get to pay for every day you’re there (how generous of them!), and they will treat your damage deposit like the law requires?!

Why in the world would you do that deal? First, can you even find a place to move to in the middle of August? Second, tell them flat out it’s a lousy deal.

If it’s me, I ask for; $1,000 cash up front, free August rent, and my full damage deposit back the day I move out.

A lease is a binding agreement between both parties any violation outside of that is a breach. You have rights also as a tenant so you must hold her accountable.. In my experience of being a property manager you can never go wrong by enforcing the lease.