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Old 11-07-2012, 12:57 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,606 times
Reputation: 10

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My family has been living in a house in CA for the past 6 years. It was foreclosed on 10 months ago, the landlord did not tell us about the foreclosure or warn us.

We found out about the foreclosure when the notice was posted on our front door. We called the landlord to discuss the foreclosure with her and she never called us back. We decided to stop paying the rent since we didn't know when we would have to move and we knew we would not get our security deposit back. The landlord never got back to us even when we didn't pay the rent (we thought for sure she would).

The house went to auction and then fell out, we think because the lien that has been place on the house because of the past HOA fees that were not paid for two years. We knew she wasn't paying the HOA fee's when she was still current on the mortgage.

Since the house didn't sell, the bank has offered the landlord a deal on getting her place back. She recently called us to see if we would like to set something up to start paying rent again and sign a lease (we were paying month to month). I told her no we do not trust her and her not warning us showed she did not care about our best interest.

Since I told her we did not want to stay and we are moving she said she would like the past money for the HOA fees and part of the rent. I told her she would not be getting any money from us. She said fine, when could she get the key back, I told her that I would send it to her. She said not she would rather meet in person.

My questions are can she sue us for old rent? I'm not sure she will even get the modified mortgage.

Do we have to meet in person to return the key? I would rather put it in a lock box on the door and let her know the combination. I really do not want to see this person. I think she wants to meet so she can have proof we were living there.

She says she is surprised she still own the place and surprised we are still there. She let the house go and now she is concerned about it.

Thanks in advance for any answers or advise.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:01 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 37,993,542 times
Reputation: 16091
She could take you to court and would likely win. You had an agreement to pay rent. You lived in the house. Why exactly do you think you are entitled to live rent free?

Honestly you are lucky she never evicted you and messed with your credit and ability to rent again.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
317 posts, read 913,809 times
Reputation: 151
Quote:
She could take you to court and would likely win. You had an agreement to pay rent. You lived in the house. Why exactly do you think you are entitled to live rent free?

Honestly you are lucky she never evicted you and messed with your credit and ability to rent again.
I don't agree.

It makes perfect sense to stop paying rent when a house enters foreclosure, because you don't know when you will return home with your items on the curb. You need money to move into a new home, put down first, last, and deposit, and other expenses. A landlord whose home is entering foreclosure should notify the tenant.

I think you'd have a reasonable argument to make in court as to your rationale for not paying rent.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 37,993,542 times
Reputation: 16091
Unless this law has expired, you won't come home to find your stuff on the curb.

Renters in Foreclosure: What Are Their Rights? | Nolo.com

Here is the short version:

Before President Obama signed the "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009," most renters lost their leases upon foreclosure. But this legislation provided that leases would survive a foreclosure. The tenant could stay at least until the end of the lease, and month-to-month tenants would be entitled to 90 days' notice before having to move out (this notice period is longer than any state's non-foreclosure notice period, a real boon to tenants).
An exception was carved out for the buyer who intends to live on the property -- this buyer may terminate a lease with 90 days' notice. Importantly, the law provides that any state legislation that is more generous to tenants will not be preempted by the federal law. These protections apply to Section 8 tenants, too.
Importantly, tenants who live in cities with rent control "just cause" eviction protection are also protected from terminations at the hands of an acquiring bank or new owner. These tenants can rely on their ordinance's list of allowable, or "just causes," for termination. Because a change of ownership, without more, does not justify a termination, the fact that the change occurred through foreclosure will not justify a termination.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,344 posts, read 25,355,703 times
Reputation: 19535
The rental contract is a seperate agreement and has nothing to do with the forclosure of the home. Both can be said to have legal bite to them so to speak. On the one hand the lender is entitled to the money owed them for the purchase of the home. They have a right to forclose on owners that do not pay the monthly payment. The landlord also has a right to evict renters that do not pay their rent irregardless of the pending forclosure.

It would have been advantagious for the owner to notify the renters of the situation and maybe give them the chance to make other arrangements, explain the current rental laws that may apply in this situation, Maybe even give them the option of breaking the rental agreement or contiuing on in the current financial climate. As a renter you would not have the ability to forgo paying the rent because somene else is is a financial bind. It is not your choice to make. The owner would have to allow that to happen.

Saying all that, strategy does exist for such termination of the contract. Plenty of people do infact stop paying rent on homes in similar situations. Those people have a right to do so. They also have to agree that the owner has a right to evict them. I can see the point of saving up for a new place to rent. I am just wondering though if non payment for 10 months would be justified in this situation. Would not the renter be able to save 1st, last, and security during a 2 or 3 month time frame, if that is what they are doing?
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 37,993,542 times
Reputation: 16091
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
I can see the point of saving up for a new place to rent. I am just wondering though if non payment for 10 months would be justified in this situation. Would not the renter be able to save 1st, last, and security during a 2 or 3 month time frame, if that is what they are doing?
IMHO I would say it is tiny bit to do with saving up for rent a lot to do with wanting to live rent free.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:54 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,606 times
Reputation: 10
For us it wasn't about getting a free ride, it was being mad about the landlord not telling us that she stopped paying the mortgage when we paid $3,000.00 every month and were never late on the rent. We feel like she was supposed to use the money for the mortgage. It was also about fixing things in the house when they broke so not to bother her, we should have bothered her.

I don't understand why she wants to meet in person to hand over the key. Is it for proof that we were living there? She didn't care about the key 10 months ago.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
317 posts, read 913,809 times
Reputation: 151
In Seattle, WA, there was a guy who couldn't get his landlord to fix something or another, and he decided not to pay rent to get his attention. The landlord still didn't pay attention.

Ten years later, yes, ten years later, the landlord finally figured out his tenant stopped paying (who was still living there by the way). They went to court, and the judge figured out some kind of settlement.

So yes, you can get sued, but I wouldn't worry much about it.

And yes, your rent is to be used to pay a mortgage for the house you are living in, if there is a mortgage. It is being paid to provide the continued existence of your rental for the length of your lease.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Tempe, Arizona
4,511 posts, read 11,484,218 times
Reputation: 2179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cedar_bluff_tree_farm View Post
...And yes, your rent is to be used to pay a mortgage for the house you are living in, if there is a mortgage. It is being paid to provide the continued existence of your rental for the length of your lease.
Well actually, it's being paid as compensation to the landlord for living in their house. Unless the lease says otherwise, the landlord can use that income for any purpose they chose. I agree that morally, the landlord should use it if necessary towards keeping up their mortgage payment. It's also possible that the lease payments did not completely cover the mortgage payment.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:48 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,399 posts, read 57,013,325 times
Reputation: 28543
Quote:
Originally Posted by cedar_bluff_tree_farm View Post
And yes, your rent is to be used to pay a mortgage for the house you are living in, if there is a mortgage. It is being paid to provide the continued existence of your rental for the length of your lease.
Meh. That's the fairy tale version of the system.

The tenant absolutely owes rent for every month they are there...
and that money is owed to whoever they have a lease with.

If/when the rights of that other party to continue to legally execute the lease change
(like AFTER a sale or foreclosure) then the new owner/agent party collects the rent.
But the rent is still due in full every month even if the owner is an idiot who doesn't
have anyone advising them o how to exercise their rights in whatever matter is going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StJG)
My family has been living in a house in CA for the past 6 years.
It was foreclosed on 10 months ago, the landlord did not tell us about the foreclosure or warn us.

We found out about the foreclosure when the notice was posted on our front door.
We called the landlord to discuss the foreclosure with her and she never called us back.

We decided to stop paying the rent since...
The landlord never got back to us even when we didn't pay the rent (we thought for sure she would).


Since the house didn't sell, the bank has offered the landlord a deal on getting her place back.
She recently called us to see if we would like to set something up to start paying rent again

Since I told her we did not want to stay and we are moving she said she would like the past money
I told her she would not be getting any money from us.

She says she is surprised she still own the place and surprised we are still there.
She let the house go and now she is concerned about it.

My questions are can she sue us for old rent?
As you owe this money... filing suit should not be required to get it.
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