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Old 01-01-2009, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
143 posts, read 167,201 times
Reputation: 108
Angry My landlord is going for a short sale

We're halfway through our three year lease and the landlord has just told us he's attempting a short sale.

His RE agent told us we were lucky he told us, we'll get someplace else easily, blah blah. She also asked for a key and when she starts bringing people, could we handle a hour's notice?

He has our $2,000 deposit. I told him I'd like to apply it (I know it's against the law.) He said no, and while he'd let us go when we want, he'd appreciate us staying until it sells or is foreclosed on because he needs the money

I have heard of people demanding a rent reduction for showing a house, refusing to show it (no clause in our lease requiring we do it) or not paying the rent at all. I would love to hear anyone's experience in these situations.

Also, I haven't been able to find details on the upcoming proposed legislation on renters' rights. Can anyone inform me or point me toward info?

We can deal with this. But we're P.O.'d at his utter lack of regard for us and what this will cost us. He did say we are "excellent renters". (Gee, thanks.)

Added complication - despite my repeatedly asking for it, we do not have a signed (by him) copy of our lease. I have multiple e-mails between us that show there has been a landlord-tenant relationship, however.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:23 PM
 
43 posts, read 197,602 times
Reputation: 34
I believe there are some laws to protect renters and I don't think a 1 hr. notice is reasonable so I would say NO to that - maybe you can use that to bargain back your deposits - also if you stopped paying rent it would probably take him longer to legally evict you than his short sale so that's something to think about as well.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Here and there, you decide.
9,487 posts, read 14,546,961 times
Reputation: 2405
start looking for a new place. what is it that you are trying to accomplish? as for the re agent wanting to show the house, they have the right to do so without your bargaining.. if this guy was a nice landlord, i wouldnt try to do screw it up.. as for your deposit, you cant use it for last months rent
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:24 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,757 posts, read 20,291,968 times
Reputation: 2661
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvnyc View Post
We're halfway through our three year lease and the landlord has just told us he's attempting a short sale.

His RE agent told us we were lucky he told us, we'll get someplace else easily, blah blah. She also asked for a key and when she starts bringing people, could we handle a hour's notice?

He has our $2,000 deposit. I told him I'd like to apply it (I know it's against the law.) He said no, and while he'd let us go when we want, he'd appreciate us staying until it sells or is foreclosed on because he needs the money

I have heard of people demanding a rent reduction for showing a house, refusing to show it (no clause in our lease requiring we do it) or not paying the rent at all. I would love to hear anyone's experience in these situations.

Also, I haven't been able to find details on the upcoming proposed legislation on renters' rights. Can anyone inform me or point me toward info?

We can deal with this. But we're P.O.'d at his utter lack of regard for us and what this will cost us. He did say we are "excellent renters". (Gee, thanks.)

Added complication - despite my repeatedly asking for it, we do not have a signed (by him) copy of our lease. I have multiple e-mails between us that show there has been a landlord-tenant relationship, however.
Slow down a little. A short sale does not effect a lease. Nobody can throw you out unless you agree. Why I would urge you to cooperate as you can louse up the deal...I don't think that means you have to give up your rights.

If the lease exists and particularly if it came from the LL you can likely enforce it. A LL can accept a lease by using it as well as by signing it. If it gets sticky pay a lawyer for a consultation. Go to someone who does tenant side of LL/tenant law.

Show the place on reasonable terms. Require they call you and schedule it. Don't give any one a key for real estate purposes. That is not required. And if the landlord uses his key for the purpose read him the riot act and change the lock.

If they want you out make them pay for the move. That would be a standard term. If that forces it into foreclosure it almost certainly would have gone that way anyway. Note that it is not unusual to sell a tenant occupied house with the tenant in place. Investors mostly love it.

Watch the Recorder for the filling of a Notice of Default on the place. If that happens talk to a lawyer about whether you should keep paying the rent or not.

This guy is not treating you correctly...sic em.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
143 posts, read 167,201 times
Reputation: 108
Default Thanks to all...

Thank you all for the replies and advice; I appreciate it.

I don't want to hurt him; I hope he sells it. Life is too short for me to kick him when he's down, no matter what a jerk he is. And I know that it could be bought by an investor who could assume the lease. That would be fine.

It's just that he and his RE agent are talking to us like we work for them and that our inconvenience is irrelevant.

In the time we've been here we've made the small repairs and not bothered him. When it was a larger problem he took care of it, but had a "what did you do?" kind of attitude.

A few months ago he asked if we'd mind taking over mowing the lawn so he could save the $100 for the lawn care service - and did we have a lawnmower? We declined.

The pool has been a problem. The pump broke - he wanted us to pay for it. (We know it was the pool service's fault.) We declined. There's a huge pine tree right next to the pool. Ominously, over a dozen tiles have popped off the side of the pool right under it.

Three weeks after our lease started he told us he was putting the house on the market - did we want to buy it? He said he wasn't covering the mortgage entirely with our rent. We thought - oh, swell. Then we heard nothing more about it until now (a year and a half later.) We settled in, bought new furniture (delivered just last month!)

olecapt, thank you for the info regarding the lease and the law. We don't want to do anything illegal. Also, I have been checking the Recorder since the first time he said he wanted to sell.

I am really only concerned with getting my deposit back, especially if he is the one who would have to return it. (I hope that's provided for in the short sale.) He is really quite the self-centered young guy. I think, under financial stress, he could justify it in his head to not return the deposit. I have never sued anyone, and don't want to start now in my old age. He said we've been "excellent renters". I don't think he'll remember that when cash is involved.

Now, I must go hide my vwal - u - a -bub -bubbles (I love that 24/7 Private Vaults guy on the radio) to get ready for the showings
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,757 posts, read 20,291,968 times
Reputation: 2661
Let me add a little more reality. For an investor owner to get a short sale done is very close to impossible if he is not destitute. If he has any assets or any source of income he ain't gonna get the short until he parts with all the cash or convertible assets he has. And if he has a source of income they are going to require he take an unsecured note.

So he ain't gonna have your deposit when they are done with him. I will even give you fifty fifty odds he ends up with a bankruptcy. That is almost always the outcome for young and aggresive operators in this economy.

So cooperate if you wish. But make sure your $2,000 is secure before you move. Guarantee you will never see it if you don't get it up front.. I might even suggest you require the $2,000 be in an escrow account soemwhere before you cooperate any more than required by your lease.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
143 posts, read 167,201 times
Reputation: 108
Default olecapt, thanks!

Thanks. This is the answer I was looking for. I don't mind cooperating, but I want my deposit back.

We could continue to live here happily, and we would if the place is sold and the lease assumed, but I'm not exactly against moving. We're probably paying too much rent, as things have changed, the place is deteriorating and more attractive properties are available for the same rent.

The same model home down the block just listed for $165K. The agent is going to list this place for $200K, though I mentioned the other place and she said she may have to adjust the list price. I don't think this is going to work - I know he owes a bit less than $330K.

When we first met him, he said he had other properties. He was an appraiser (I googled him - he had his license suspended for a year, fraud was mentioned.) The web site for his appraisal company is down.

I don't want to subsidize his losses. I will ask for an escrow account.

Thank you very much
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
143 posts, read 167,201 times
Reputation: 108
Default I forgot to say...

My landlord was living in the house when he got the mortgage, so the mortgagee may not know that it's now a rental property.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:48 PM
 
482 posts, read 604,091 times
Reputation: 647
Olecapt has already given some useful advice, so I'll try to add what I can ...

As a small-time landlord, I've always tried to be reasonable with my tenants. I don't get the sense this guy is doing that with you; if you're describing things accurately, he's playing dirty pool.

At this point my main suggestion is GET IT IN WRITING! You mentioned not having a copy of the lease - well, what's he holding you to if there's no lease? As far as the e-mail correspondence - if courts here are anything like Chicago, they'll say "Huh?" when you mention it. It might seem like enough to show you have a landlord/tenant relationship, but they might laugh you out of there. How are you going to prove it was him writing & not a friend of yours? Don't count on maybes, work with stuff that's concrete.

As for the security deposit, didn't you get a receipt when you paid it? How did you pay it? If by bank/certified check, pay the money to get a copy of it. The (apparent) lack of security deposit receipt & lease gives me pause for concern.

I've always espoused a 'firm yet fair' mentality. Know what you need/want from your landlord, yet be willing to negotiate other items to get what you want. Give the landlord a 'win' so you can get a copy of the lease, security deposit in escrow & ??? He's gotta want something. Lean on him as much as you can while keeping things legal. Tell him you'd like to help being as flexible as possible with the showing requests, but you need A, B & C (lease, security deposit, etc.) You know better than we do what he wants & what you need, so strategize accordingly.

If he balks at any of this, send him a demand letter via certified mail, return receipt requested - ask for a copy of the lease, security deposit receipt & whatever else is highly relevant. Any court's going to recognize the certified letter; it confirms your request & makes a strong case for the landlord/tenant relationship, especially if you can document the security deposit on your end.

My gut tells me that security deposit may be a sunk cost, but do everything you can to get it back. Flexibility & negotiation may be key.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
143 posts, read 167,201 times
Reputation: 108
Default delgadobb, thanks...

for taking the time to help, much appreciated.

I do have the canceled check for our deposit. I have a copy of our lease, but not signed by him. He has the original copy of the lease signed by both of us. I guess if he wants to, he could say there is no lease, but I don't know why we would have been paying rent here for the last 18 months.

I haven't heard a peep from his RE agent since Tuesday.

I am going to do what I can to get my deposit back, but from the comments of the RE agent and the LL himself, I may be trying to get blood out of a stone. My only hope seems to be applying it against the rent, and that's against the law.

He asked that we stay until the last possible month (depending on what happens with the sale/foreclosure) because "I need the money"
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