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Rental term limit undisclosed

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#1
In Massachusetts. Viewed an apartment for rent in a mostly condo/owned building. Was given the tour by 3rd party leasing agent, hired by owner of my specific unit. I asked her several questions about the possible length of tenancy, wanting to avoid moving into a unit that would soon be sold or where owner would want apartment for personal use. Leasing agent assured me the owner had every intention of having long term tenants, as prior tenants were 3 years and only moving because of newborn baby.
After signing lease, paying one month realtor fee and moving fees, and moving in, I got documents of “rules” from the condo association that disclosed that units may not be rented for 5 consecutive years. I am tenant for 4th year of a 4 year rental streak. Understanding I have a 1 year lease, do I have any recourse if the reason my lease is not renewed next year due to condo regulations? I understand landlords can raise rent, not renew for other reasons, but having a 1 year cap that wasn’t disclosed seemed to be grounds for something. If someone else moves in as renter, then I see no issues. But if apartment is forced into vacancy, can I pursue my realtor fee or anything else?
 


#3
"I was told" is the most dangerous phrase in the English language.

Your written lease is the ONLY thing that counts. I'm guessing that the lease refers to "rules."

You should have gotten those rules before committing to the rental.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
#4
Even if the condo association had no rules about rentals a owner could still sell to someone else any time before the lease is up who wants to owner occupy a unit and be willing to be a landlord for a short time and give you proper notice to move. If you had wanted a lease to be more than one year that would have been something to negotiate before signing or refuse to sign and to have looked elsewhere for a rental that would have given you a longer term.
 
#5
I guess my question is more related to rules surrounding realtors and dishonesty. If she knew the stipulation but never disclosed it despite my direct questions? I completely understand I have no way of guaranteeing a second year with the landlord/condo association. But what are the laws around real estate agents and questions/answers? She didn’t say “I don’t know” or “I’ll get back to you”, and the owner has subsequently tried to encourage me he doesn’t think it will be an issue.

I have no intentions of starting drama or trying to break lease 10 days in.... but I’d be curious if agents can’t say whatever they want to close a deal where they do 10 minutes of work to make several thousand dollars.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
#6
I can say the color of the rug is gray and you may say its silver BUT what is in writing is what counts and spoken conversations related to contracts have the same value as a fart in walmo , the smell was there but after time no one remembers the details, a LL or even a LLs agent can promise a tenant say new carpet to be installed after they move in but if its not in writing how does a tenant prove it?
 
#7
Why is real estate 100% document based when it comes to disputes? I found errors in the lease several times, and it got to the point where the agent (in writing) said just sign it and we’ll fix it later. If you lie in the sales process in most industries there are repurcussions. There is no harm in saying “i don’t know the answer to that” when asked a question. Certainly a less inquisitive renter would come along and sign the lease blindly. Massachusetts also heavily favors tenants when it comes to rental property disputes. I am less concerned about the strict letter of the law here and more interested in reality and how small claims might view the situation. Realtor fee, building move in/our fee, movers, etc were all factored into the total cost of the unit, hoping to spread it out over multiple years. The landlord has a history of raising rent by <3% per year, which is fair and reasonable, and i would agree to. I would agree to most increases to avoid moving again. I know for a fact he doesn’t intend to sell it, as it is a hugely profitable rental for him based on the mortgage he has. If he were to sell and reinvest elsewhere, he would burn too much capital on the transactions. So the only reason I see myself being forced out is a stipulation in the condo association bylaws, which he verbally noted he was aware of when we spoke the other day. I made sure to document the date/time/comments made during the call. Is there no value in what was said during he call if I have accurate notes of what was said? Is there a “board” that deals with leasing agent complaints?
 

HRZ

Senior Member
#8
WHat does your lease say about renewals ? What if anything does your lease say about condo rules ?

Your contract is with the LL.....the impact of condo rules disclosed after the fact is up for debate ...and it may be premature to kick a sleeping dog!

Do not second guess owners motivations...they are none of your business .
 
#9
My issue is with the agent... because I know their motivations... and why they are dishonest. I have no issues with the landlord. We did not speak until after I moved in. The lease is a standard lease from the local agency. Nothing special for this building. Cookie cutter with cookie cutter answers trying to lease the unit without having to show it to anyone else and spend actual time working.
 

HRZ

Senior Member
#10
Your lease is with the owner...the agent is merely the owners agent ..for starters...the so called standard lease is the starting point ...I was a LL for decades.and I've seen some remarkably bad residential leases prepared by supposed professionals ....what's in your lease is starting point of what counts.

Your LL might have some tough days ahead ...but I think you are unwise to kick the sleeping dog.
 
#11
Thank you for the time and advice- I have no intentions of causing any issues. I like the unit and intend to enjoy my tenancy. Fingers crossed for the next 12 months regardless. Was just trying to be best prepared in the event that the building does enforce the clause. And I considered reaching out to the leasing agent to broker a deal in the event my nightmare comes to fruition (i.e. reduced fee on my next apartment, which I think would be reasonable). My landlord would be even more upset than I, as he is banking on recurring rental payments and this is his only rental property. I just would have been better off in some cookie cutter luxury building where they give you lease breaks in year one and don’t charge a fee, or last month/security, then they jack it up year 2 and essentially rip you off or force you out. If I have to move after one year, I would have done it that way and saved short term money.
 

HRZ

Senior Member
#12
You have yet to establish that you are bound by building rules ...stop making assumptions and don't ask premature questions
 
#13
Well the building rules are in legal documents... and everyone’s saying documents are all that matter so I shouldn’t take someone’s word for it that the building won’t enforce the rules................. didn’t know it was bad to assume that legal rules set by trustees are actually enforced. I guess I’ll make an assumption that they won’t be enforced, go on my merry way, and eat thousands of dollars of costs I could have added if someone practiced proper business ethics.
 
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