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Tenant eviction on property sale

I am under contract to by a house that is currently occupied by tenants. My closing date is May 1 and the tenant's lease expires on July 1. There is a clause in their lease which is as follows: "TERMINATION UPON SALE OF PREMISES. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Lease, Landlord may terminate this Lease upon fourty five (45) days' advance written notice to Tenant that the Premises have been sold." The tenants interpret "sale of premises" to be the closing date while the seller and I interpret it as the date we began the contract of sale. Therefore, the tenant refuses to vacate at the date set by the owner of April 30, and has brought in a lawyer and now things seem to be at a stand still. What are some of your opinions on this matter? What is the correct interpretation of "sale of premises"? And what should be done moving forward since a July 1 closing date is not ideal for us? Thanks

I take the 45 days to mean that the seller can submit a Notice to Vacate when property is sold. The question is “When was the property sold?” Is it when seller has a confirmed offer or closing date? I can give an argument both ways. The question is “What was the seller’s intent?” I tend to agree with the seller, but who knows how a court would look at it. Also, this should have been noted in the sale contract….My suggestion - Since you and seller agree that tenant should move prior to closing and that was your understanding, if I was in your shoes I wouldn’t close before tenant vacates the property and property is transferred to you in a satisfactory condition…..The seller should work out a deal (extra $$$ for moving, etc) with tenant to vacate before closing and give seller time to fix the property, if needed. Keep us updated. -----Disclaimer: Since I’ve been answering a lot of questions, I thought I would make the following statement. I’m not affiliated with EZlandlord Forms. I’m just here (not sure how long) to help those that have questions. Unfortunately, it is impossible to give comprehensive real estate/tax advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. Therefore, it is up to you to become familiar with Fed/State/Local Tax Laws. Also, if you have real questions, you should consult with an attorney or tax professional……Having 40+ yrs with Rental Property and done well, it’s my way of “Pay it Forward (check out the movie).” I always like to know if the suggestions I offer are helpful. Feel free to comment anytime. Thanks in Advance. BTW...check out the Rental Property Organizer at Free Trial Download with data. Check out the new $$$$ for 2012
To me, "sale" means when the sale actually happens.  Not when you come to an agreement for a sale, but the actual sale.
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