Can landlords evict tenants with leases at any time?

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Can landlords evict tenants with leases at any time?

Postby gavinmac » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:03 pm

I was a bit surprised to read some stuff on the Sihanoukville FB expats page this week about Westerners getting evicted from apartments by Chinese buyers despite having remaining time on their leases. Is this a common or accepted result, that whenever a landlord says "I'm evicting you," that you have to move out? Some of the stuff I've read is:

1. "Leases mean nothing in Cambodia."
2. "As long as the Landlord is willing to give you back the deposit they can kick you out whenever they want and don't owe you anything."
3. "New buyers of property aren't bound by leases unless the lease specifically says that it applies to a new buyer."

Will landlords hire goons to forcibly evict Western tenants with leases just as a "self-help" remedy without getting any legal approvals or court orders for eviction. How can this be prevented, other than hiring more or bigger goons than the landlord has?

Lastly, do landlords do this to Western commercial tenants also? If you pay $30,000 to buy a bar with five years left on the lease, can the landlord just sell the property and then the new buyer can say "Get out, I'm evicting you" and you have to leave and lose your investment? If not, why is this behavior tolerated from residential landlords but not commercial landlords?
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Re: Can landlords evict tenants with leases at any time?

Postby Beaker » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:31 pm

Something I would add is that if you buy a business the landlord is under no obligation to let the new owner take on the existing lease.
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Can landlords evict tenants with leases at any time?

Postby youngwill100 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:10 pm

Beaker wrote:Something I would add is that if you buy a business the landlord is under no obligation to let the new owner take on the existing lease.

Yup. So obviously step one if you are considering buying a business, is to go and meet the landlord/lady and see what her intentions would be when her existing tenant leaves.
With smaller premises like bars, it's rare that they will let a new tennant take over the existing lease. But usually I think they are happy enough to start a new lease - they get to keep the deposit from the previous tennant as he has in effect broken the lease, and they have an opportunity to hike up the rent a bit. Or a lot.


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Can landlords evict tenants with leases at any time?

Postby youngwill100 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:17 pm

gavinmac wrote:Lastly, do landlords do this to Western commercial tenants also? If you pay $30,000 to buy a bar with five years left on the lease, can the landlord just sell the property and then the new buyer can say "Get out, I'm evicting you" and you have to leave and lose your investment? If not, why is this behavior tolerated from residential landlords but not commercial landlords?

The leases I've seen all have a clause in that states the any new buyer has to honour the full terms of the existing lease.
But with our leases now, I put in a clause that says that if the landlord sells the building, he has the option of ending our lease early in return for some financial compensation roughly totalling our investment in the business, say maybe $50-80K.
This is a fairly small amount when the building is selling for $800K++ and we hope that it will discourage the owner from trying to just evict us illegally if he sells the building.


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Re: Can landlords evict tenants with leases at any time?

Postby Marmite » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:34 pm

youngwill100 wrote:
gavinmac wrote:Lastly, do landlords do this to Western commercial tenants also? If you pay $30,000 to buy a bar with five years left on the lease, can the landlord just sell the property and then the new buyer can say "Get out, I'm evicting you" and you have to leave and lose your investment? If not, why is this behavior tolerated from residential landlords but not commercial landlords?

The leases I've seen all have a clause in that states the any new buyer has to honour the full terms of the existing lease.
But with our leases now, I put in a clause that says that if the landlord sells the building, he has the option of ending our lease early in return for some financial compensation roughly totalling our investment in the business, say maybe $50-80K.
This is a fairly small amount when the building is selling for $800K++ and we hope that it will discourage the owner from trying to just evict us illegally if he sells the building.


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If he doesnt care about the law when he is evicting you illegally, why would he care about a clause in a lease?

If he is selling the place for $800,000 and he wants you gone, then you're gone - illegally or not.
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Re: Can landlords evict tenants with leases at any time?

Postby Buscador » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:45 am

I have known two people (one Khmer one western) whose landlords tried to evict them in order to sell the building, and who successfully got 2-3 months rent plus the return of their deposit just by threatening to get a lawyer. I've also known a few business owners and one house tenant with decent landlords who were offered a buyout in order to have the building vacant when they put it up for sale, one of whom was given two months free rent and several months notice. This would lead me to think that there does not need to be special language to have the lease survive an ownership transfer, but I do not know it for a fact. I would not take the word of anyone that this is so without hearing it from a lawyer with some experience in real estate. Of course, the landlord can always threaten you and get his police brother in law to back him up, and if the landlord has enough connections, they can force you out, but this is getting harder and harder to do. They don't get cooperation from the police and judiciary for free, and if the amount they owe you is relatively small, it will be cheaper to pay you than to pay to evict you--whether they have to pay in cash or in the return of favors. As one board member who many of us know said a few years ago, getting his high ranking police father in law to send a squad of cops to help you when you are legally in the right would generally only cost $50-$100, but if you are in the wrong it is either very expensive or impossible.
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