Legal question about rentals

Jan 18th, 2008, 01:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063
Legal question about rentals

Could anyone let me know where I would stand in this situation -

I am about to book a rental cottage for a two week break in The Abacos. Dream location looks to good to be true.

However, just before sending the money - have discovered the place is up for sale - what if the house sells prior to our holiday in June 2008. There does seem to be a lot of rentla homes that are up for sale - is this a normal situation?
markrosy is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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in my experience yes - it's normal. actually i think almost all rental homes are 'for sale for the right price'. i am not a lawyer but your rental contract would pre-date any future sales contract, so you should be set. in addition most buyers plan to continue to rent the property out. they would not be allowed to raise your rates either.

if you're willing to share i'd love to look at the house. or perhaps a trip report when you get home. i've been looking for just the right house somewhere in bahamas for some time now. we require 3br and beachfront and like a pool.
virginia is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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What Virginia says is not entirely true. If the property is sold the new owners are not obligated to rent you the house - they may want the house solely for their own use. Your contract is with the old owner and if the new owners decide not to rent the old owner would be obligated to refund your money. Of course, the new owners could just as easily agree to honor your rental. How things are handle would depend on the terms of the Purchase & Sale Agreement between the buyer and seller.

Virginia is correct in that many rental homes are always "on the market" and when there is a change in ownership future rentals are factored into the deal. Whether that's true with this particular house is unknown. You'd be wise to tell the current owner you heard the house was up for sale and ask him/her what would happen if it sold before your scheduled visit. You should then make sure your rental agreement covers such contingency.

Chances are, if a lot of rental homes in the area are up for sale, your particular house may not sell very quickly but you never know so make sure you can get your money back if the house is withdrawn from the rental market.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Whats the name of the rental?
Also check here to see comments about place.

laplaya is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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A_Traveller - Actually you are incorrect.

A lease agreement obligates future owners of the property to honor the lease agreement unless the lease agreement specifies otherwise.

If I have a lease for a property, as long as I am obeying the terms of the lease, a new owner cannot come in and tell me to move until the lease expires.
Kool_Aid_Salesman is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 06:38 AM
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I would look at it this way:

Even if the house happens to sell before June, what are the chances that the house will sell, make closing, AND the new owners would not want to rent it - all within the next five months? Real estate transfers seem to take forever in the Bahamas, from what I've read.

Virginia, have you tried the Hopetown Hideaways website? You can search for 3 br's and a pool.
joan is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Kool_Aid_Salesmen - you are talking about an existing lease under which you as the lessee are occupying a property. In that case, I agree, a new owner is obligated to continue to let you occupy the premises until the lease expires or another agreement can be reached.

In this case the markrosy is doing a short term future rental and is not currently occupying the property and therefore has no rights as a "tenant in possession". It is likely there is no a lease in place but rather there is a rental agreement which has wording that says something to the effect that if the property is taken off the rental market for various reasons, including a sale, there's no obligation for a new owner to rent the property. In fact, since no money has yet to change hands there is no implied contract.

Now the reality is: 1) we don't know the complete facts, 2) the property is in the Bajamas and would be subject to Bahamian laws which I do know are substantially different from other countries, 3) we don't know where markrosy resides (I doubt he/she lives in the Bahamas) and 4) we don't know the terms of any rental agreement that may be required by the owner or rental agent (I suspect there is one that covers this particular contigency).

Anyway, we can speculate all we want but the truth is markrosy has concerns that can't be resolved by people on a travel forum. There is a common sense answer to this. Markrosy should address those concerns with the owner or rental agent.

Regardless of what markrosy's legal rights may be let's put things in perspective. We are talking about a two week rental. Let's assume that for what ever reason a few weeks prior to scheduled arrival markrosy finds out the house is not available for rental in June. Let's also assume markrosy receives a full refund of any deposits paid. That leaves markrosy with some out of pocket expenses for airline tickets and no place to stay. What recourse does markrosy have? He/she could hire a lawyer and spend lots of time and money trying to get compensated for the cost of the airline tickets (assuming he/she does not take the trip) or if he/she did take the trip markrosy could try to recover the difference between the original rental cost (less any refunds) and the cost of additional compensation. All of this leave markrosy without a stress free vacation. Since markrosy is aware of a potential problem it would behoove him/her to read the rental agreement now rather than wait until a problem occurs.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone - I have broached the subject with the owner and the ad was simply the one that the agent used when SHE bought the house two years ago. The agent has not deleted the page. Again, confirms to me what a waste of space many agents are in many commercial situations - over time I have come to become annoyed with the function of many agents.

Does still pose an interesting question and was faced with a similar situation in Canada last summer.

BTW the house that we are booking is Green Bananas in The Abacos - it would appear to have dropped from heaven!
markrosy is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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A_Traveller - As a real estate developer who regularly puts property under contract with owners, I don't disagree with the general points you make regarding her concerns. I can only speak to the US law and presume most law-abiding countries would follow a common law principle.

If the Owner has signed a legally binding contract, that contract passes on to the next owner regardless of moving in or not. Simply put that's US law.
Kool_Aid_Salesman is offline  
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