Tenancy gets a new landlord – what do I do as a tenant?

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You have made one agreement with a landlord and suddenly a new landlord takes over the tenancy. How does it affect you as a tenant that your tenancy is now owned by a new landlord? Get the answer in this article.

Protection of rights in general

Certain rights are only protected if a perfection of a security interest has taken place. A perfection of a security interest can for example be a recording of the content of your lease, however, it is very rare that this is seen.

In a tenancy, the tenant’s rights are protected in terms of the lease, even if there a recording of lease has not taken place. The landlord, who you made the contract with, cannot come and change the conditions of your contract. So, what if a new owner takes over the property and you get a new landlord?

As a rule, the new landlord must respect the rights you have according to your lease. An exception is, however, is special terms that the new landlord has not been made aware of. If the new landlord has not been made aware of the existence of such conditions, it means that they are not valid. The landlord can revoke the condition, and the tenant thereby loses their right. If the content of the lease is recorded, the new landlord will have been made aware of the conditions and the conditions will still be in force.

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The lease

As a rule, the new owner/landlord takes over the old owner/landlord’s agreements and thereby also the conditions and obligations. A lease is overall protected without a recording, and the tenant’s rights will therefore carry on despite a new landlord. However, the tenant’s conditions that deviate from the Rent Act is not protected. It can for example be an agreement about not regulating the rent during the tenancy or that there can been agreed upon an irrevocability. These are conditions that puts a tenant in a better position than the Rent Act requires.

If the new landlord wishes to change these agreements in the lease, it is a requirement that the new landlord was made aware of these conditions at the transfer of ownership.

It is more of a rule rather than en exception that the landlord cannot change your lease and therefore the new landlord takes over the agreed rights and obligations in most cases.

Right of use

Is the right of use a protected right? The right of use of the rented residence is a protected right, and will therefore always be valid when a new landlord takes over. What about special circumstances such as a lumber room, parking, etc.? These agreements would typically require recording of the contract to apply.

In the meantime, previous case law shows that the right to free parking is included in the general right of use of the tenancy. The right of use of the parking spot, therefore, does not require a recording of the lease to apply. However, it can change from situation to situation, as specific circumstances can affect the outcome. If the right of use is mentioned in the lease, the chances of it still applying are bigger compared to it being agreed upon in a separate agreement.

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Can the new owner of the residence evict you?

The new owner takes over the old owner’s obligations. This means that you will not be in a worse position, but you will not in a better position either i terms of your rights and obligations towards your landlord. The new owner can, therefore, only evict a tenant if it follows the the general regulation about eviction just like the previous landlord. This means that the new owner/landlord can only evict you if he/she intends to occupy the rented residence. There is a term of notice of 1 year if this is the reason for evicting the tenant.

Selling the whole or parts of the residence so that a new landlord takes over does not mean that the new owner of the residence can kick you out.

Prepaid rent

According to the Rent Act, the landlord can demand the equivalent to 3 months rent in the form of deposit and prepaid rent at the start of the tenancy. As these payments are stated in the Rent Act and, therefore, is not a special condition in the lease, they are protected with a recording of the lease. But what if a tenant pays more in prepaid rent?

In a ruling from Vestre Landsret, the judges found that rent paid beyond what the Rent Act requires is not protected in the same way and must therefore be recorded so that the new landlord is a aware of the special condition. In the case, the tenant had paid the equivalent to to 6 months rent and stopped paying rent. The landlord terminated the lease due to the missing payment. However, the tenant believed that it was justified that he stopped paying the rent, as he had prepaid 6 months rent. This was, however, a seperate term that was beyond the regulations of the Rent Act, hence the court found that termination was justified.

The case illustrates the importance of knowing which rights and obligations the new landlord must respect, and which rights does not continue in the new tenancy.

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