San Antonio, TX
On March 13th, 2021 I was informed by my landlord that the house I have been renting for three months was about to be listed on the market for sale. During that phone conversation, the landlord advised me that I would be able to exit the lease without penalty by providing her with a 30 day written notice. Her intention with this was to sweeten the deal for a potential buyer that the current tenant was able to quickly move out of the property. My wife and I are three months into the twelve-month lease on the home.
Fifteen minutes after that phone conversation, my wife and I began the home buying process. We spoke with our real estate agent and began the pre-approval paperwork to get our mortgage. We started scheduling showings and getting the ball rolling as quickly as possible because the housing market is so crazy.
March 15th we got our pre-approval letter from the bank. That same day, the 15th, the landlord texted me informing me that I was going to be contacted about showings. I texted her, verbatim:
"Can you confirm that we can exit the lease without penalty with a 30 day notice?"
March 19th we put an offer on a home and have since been working with the lender to get all of the documents needed to close on April 23rd, 2021.
On March 30th, 2021 the landlord reneged on this agreement stating that there was no written addendum to the lease agreement and that the new owner, some property investor, wants to keep the lease whole. From my estimates, she executed the sale contract on my rental property sometime after March 15th, 2021. Now she is stating that her offer had changed because an investor was purchasing the property and that I took too long to give my notice that I was going to be moving. During that conversation, I promptly wrote an email to her stating that I would be exiting the lease per our agreement.
My biggest concerns here are:
1 - Fees, dues, and penalties resulting from us leaving the property. The lease has these well defined and it seems like if I left like we will be doing, there is a significant penalty for doing so. 2 - Can this affect my escrow? Neither the lender, the closing agent, or my real estate agent have asked for a copy of my lease. Now that I have thought about it, if they did ask for a copy of the lease my debt-to-income ratio could be changed because of my contractual obligation to the lease as it is written. 3 - Civil judgments against me - I don't want to get sued for this by the new owner who I suspect doesn't know about the agreement I made with the current owner.
For added info - my landlord is set to close on her sale of the property April 20th. My wife and I are set to close on our house purchase April 23rd. We gave notice of our intent to exit the lease on March 30th stating that we would leave the property on April 29th. We have already spent about 5K in earnest money and inspection, appraisal costs on the house we're buying. Our rent is almost 2K a month and we have about 8 months left on the lease.
What do I do?