Hot housing market could leave some renters out in the cold

DENVER -- The metro area's housing market is hot, which is great for homeowners. But renters beware. Not knowing what's in your lease could cost you more than just a place to call home.

One renter, who remains unidentified out of embarrassment about her situation, tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers her landlord suddenly sold the home she lived in for seven years after receiving a lucrative offer.

The renter says although the landlord made an effort to soften the blow by allowing her to live rent-free in the home through the first week in August, the new owners did not honor the agreement and gave her three days to pay $1,300 or be evicted.

The renter did not receive the standard 30 days notice from the landlord.

“I’ve seen this on the news before myself and wondered what people did in these situations now I'm wondering what I’m going to do," she said.

Tenant law expert Jacob Eppler said renters have rights when it comes to the sale of a home they're living in.

“(Landlords) can't just decide 'well I have the title to the property, too bad tenant,' because  that tenant has a legal right to be there," he said.

Eppler also emphasizes that renters must read their lease and understand whether there is a clause that outlines what will happen if their landlord sells the property.

Month-to-month leases allow landlords and tenants the ability to discontinue the lease at the end of each month, but 30 days notice is the standard amount of time that is given to either party if the agreement is discontinued.

Eppler also says tenants should always be sure to get any agreement or special arrangement with a landlord in writing, no matter how small the matter.

The new buyers said they will work out an agreement with the tenant in danger of becoming homeless.

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