(In Tennessee, as the tag indicates)

My previous 12 month lease expired May 30th, 2023. Shortly before my lease expired, my previous landlord suddenly sold the apartment complex to another landlord, and notified us in an email to now contact the new landlord under an email address provided. I sent a message to that email asking about the previously agreed upon new lease agreement details I had with my last landlord, to which I never got a reply to.

The new managers/owners were clearly struggling to get everything up and running, and they seemingly forgot about my lease renewal in the process (previous landlord emailed me lease renewals, these new people didn't even text/call/email me). They posted a late rent notice on my door on June 6th. I walked to the front office with the notice and told the manager I didn't even have a lease agreement with them but was still living in my unit. She tried to get my new online portal set up but couldn't. 3 weeks later, they finally get my online portal set up and are now charging me my previous lease agreement's rent/fees though I have not seen nor signed any lease agreement with them.

If they decide to increase my rent/fees, do I have the right to say no and move out? I believe I'm still obligated to give them a 30 or 60 day move out notice, but would I be required to pay them something like an additional 3 months rent as an "early move out" fee? That was a stipulation in my previous (now expired) rent agreement.

Thank you all in advance for the help!


1 Answer 1


There are two distinct questions here.

One is what happens when a lease expires and you don't vacate and the landlord doesn't try to evict you. Generally, in the absence of holdover tenant provisions expressly in the existing lease, the lease becomes a month to month lease on the same terms as previously in force. If the lease does provide for holdover tenant provisions, that lease remains in force.

The second issue is what happens when the landlord transfers ownership of the property. Basically, the lease runs with the land, regardless of who owns it, and the legal analysis is no different from what it would have been if the landlord had remained the same.

So, if a lease with no holdover provision expires, no new renewal of the lease is signed, and a new owner buys the property from the old one, you have a month to month lease with then new owner on the same terms as the old lease, until the tenant and landlord agree otherwise, even in the absence of an express agreement with the new owner.

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