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Typicall , if a tenant violates a provision of the lease, the landlord may initially claim she has "terminated the lease." However, the landlord probably has terminated your right of possession and not your other obligations of the lease agreement. See "Consequences for Terminating Without Excuse." [A tenant in Section 8, government-owned or government-subsidized housing must commit a serious violation of the terms of the lease for the landlord to be able to terminate.]

CHANGE IN THE LANDLORD USUALLY DOES NOT TERMINATE THE LEASE

If the landlord sells or transfers the property, the new owner is obli- gated to honor your lease and any other agreement you made with the old owner or management. However, if the property is foreclosed on by a bank or some other entity, the new owner is not obligated to honor your lease (or other agreement), but they must give you at least 30 days written notice to vacate as long as you are current on your rent. You are considered current on your rent if, during the month of the foreclosure sale, you pay rent for that month to the landlord before receiving any notice that a foreclosure sale is scheduled, or you pay rent for that month to the purchaser no later than the fifth day after the date of the receipt of a written notice of the name and address of the purchaser that requests payment. If you receive notice that your landlord is about to be foreclosed on and someone else is demanding you pay them rent or vacate, consult a lawyer or tenant association for advice.

DISAGREEMENTS ABOUT TERMINATIONS

A landlord may terminate if you fail to pay rent on time, violate the rules, or fail to act according to other lease provisions. Most landlords only terminate your right to possession and still require you to com- plete the obligation to pay rent. However, even if the landlord termi- nates the lease (or your right to possession), you still have the right to dispute the landlord's decision and stay in your house or apartment and demand a judge or jury make the determination. The landlord cannot physically remove you from the premises unless an eviction suit has been properly filed and a final judgment and writ of possession have been issued against you.

CONSEQUENCES FOR TERMINATING WITHOUT EXCUSE

If you do not have a legal excuse for terminating early (or the land- lord legally terminates your right of possession), you can be held responsible for the remaining rental payments under the lease. This is the maximum potential liability for rent for premature termination. You can also be liable for damages to the propert , and also reasonable cleaning fees if authorized in the lease. If you move out early and your deposit is too small to cover these charges, the landlord may pursue other actions to collect the funds and will often report these charges to credit agencies if collection efforts prove unsuccessful. If you want to terminate your lease early, you should try to work something

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