tenants rights during short sale?

There is a realtor that came to us claiming to represent our landlord and asking for copies of our apartment keys to show the property to potential buyers for a short sale. We knew the property was going into foreclosure b/c we received a nice note from the landlord about 4 months ago saying we could stop paying rent. Our lease was for a year, but had expired by the time this happened, so basically we were living month to month at the time. And up until then we had paid all our rent on time with no problem even though the landlord never completed any repairs or maintained the property. The note said the landlord would be filing for bankruptcy. Luckily we do not have any security owed, but we have not heard anything from him since. We had been getting solicitation letters from lawfirms about the house being in pre-foreclosure, but this week a couple of realtors have come to the house asking to help convince the landlord to do a shortsale. One of them claims to be already working with our landlord and wants us to help him by giving him copies of our lease and keys. I don't know how, but he already has a copy of the front door to the building and one of my apartment key locks. My question is, can realtors force us to give them unlimited access to our apartment with only an hour or two notice? We are willing to reasonably accomodate them, but he says that any realtor in his agency could come at any time to show the place to any interested buyer. I'm just not comfortable with that arrangement and want to know whether NJ law provides any protection for tenants. We understand we don't own the property and want them to be able to show it within a fair schedule, but are not sure how to approach it. We have not seen any paperwork from the bank saying that the house was sold, but we suspect that this realtor is not being completely honest with us. Please help!

Posted by dorcelyflo
from NJ




80 Answers

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I'm not an attorney, but it is HIGHLY unlikely that they would have any right to enter the property without at least 24 hours notice, and even then for limited reasons. Typically tenants have the right of "quiet enjoyment" during the term of their lease, and have no obligation to allow unlimited showing of the property to buyers.   That said, given the "nice note" letting you stay without paying rent, you might try to be reasonably accomodating. Perhaps letting them take photos (be careful they don't show valuable possessions), maybe 1 open house day, and an inspection by a buyer with a signed contract. Just make sure the Realtor is legit and actually has a signed listing agreement with your landlord.

Answered by Sean


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this is what the laws say..... It is still required that the tenant receive at least 24 hours notice of each intended entry. Trying to give oral notice -- as in, "I called yesterday, but no one answered" -- is not sufficient. there is your answer.... look under tenants right in a shortsale.. google it n u'll c!! good luck!

Answered by canita


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i would not give my keys to anybody but the landlord. Dont ever do this again

Answered by conroe apartments


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at least you don't have to pay rent no more, we were still payien our rent and they made us have open houses 2 o 3 days a week, some times the realtor didn't even came and had all that people comming over again and again every day, asking me if they could see the house even that wasn't an open house day and if I said no, they would tell me how mean I am, cause they came from a far city... my landlord was able to do a loan modification so we stayed but now, we were just told that bank didn't aprove so they will go for the short sale again, I want to move as soon as I can, don't want to go trough all that again with no rights... cause we are in a month to month agreement... landlord hasn't pay her mortgage in 2 years so she has been putting in her pocket all the rent money, and she is still collecting from me, even that she doensn't pay her mortgage... the stove is not working and she doesn't want to fix it...

Answered by Eli


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I had a realtor call me last night and stated that she will be coming back to get the keys to my unit, because of a short sell, she never once stated what company she was with, or even to offer me property . i currently have a lease and i need to know what are my recourses in this case , do i still pay DEC rent ...

Answered by dena


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I have a shortsale process going the says he want keys& 1month rent&1months security and the closing has not be tooken place is this right? rs
I just have been informed the house I am renting is going to be sold on Sept 3, and Ii have a full year's lease, Do I have to move? louise
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I just moved in to a house this month, I am on a month to month. Well we find out that the house is going into a Short Sale. I am wondering what my rights are, do I have to move and is a short sale the same as a foreclosure ? I live in Ca

Answered by Connie


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You are on a month to month tenancy so a short sale is like a traditional sale. The owner would need to give you 30 days notice (based on the terms of your month to month agreement). If the property went to a trustee sale then you would be given a 90 days notice to vacate. Keep in mind that a short sale can take a very long time to close so you may have more time than you think.

Answered by Michelle


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I'm rented a two bedroom basemnt apartment for 11 months. I was paying month to month with no lease. The landlord put the house up for sales with out me knowing. One day I came home from work an notice my door and the lights were on in every room. So i confronted the landlord 5 minutes aftter i calm down and ask her wtf is going on. she replies omg i'm so sorry but we haven't been able to keep up with our mortgage... 3 weeks later they moved out. What are my right as a tennant without a lease?

Answered by jAY


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It is not illegal for a landlord to list the property. It is illegal for them to enter without giving proper notice. If the house in no longer listed then the bank will have to foreclose on the property. Depending on where in the foreclosure process the property is will depend on how much time you have left. Once the lender forecloses then ho much time you have depends on the state that you live in. If you live in CA then the bank would have to give you a 90 day notice. Contact a local realtor to check on the current foreclosure status.

Answered by Michelle


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I have been renting month to month for almost a year. My a/c broke last week and after a few days trying to get the owner to return my call for repair, she calls and tells me she is having someone come by and inspect the TH due to flood insurance being to high at the same time she stated the ac repair man would also come. Well, it turned out it was not the flood insurance people but several realtors with clients stating the TH was for sale. I googled the property and it is listed as a short sale. What are my rights, does that mean my landlord has stopped paying the mortgage? Do I have to continue to pay rent if she is not complying with her obligations with the bank? Where do I stand?

Answered by Pat


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Typically a landlord would tell you if they are listing the property since they would want to potentially show the property to prospective buyers and they would need to give you advances notice under the terms of your rental agreement or lease. If you have a lease the new owners would need to honor the terms of your lease. If you are on a month to month agreement the landlord the landlord can give you a 30 day notice to move (unless your agreement states something different). Regardless of whether or not they are current on the payments you still have a legal obligation to pay rent while you are living in the property. If the property did go to trustee sale you would be given a 90 day notice or the bank or investor would negotiate a cash for keys agreement with you. I suggest contacting a local realtor who specializes in distressed properties and they can tell you if the property is in default. This will at least give you a better understanding of how long you may have in the property. Michelle
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I am on a similar situation. I started my 1 yr lease May 1, 2010 and now the owner told me he didn't qualify for a loan mod although he was in trial payments. The problem is that I live in a single family home and I'm sure that whoever buys the house will want to live in it. So what are my rights? Why do I have to work for the realtor or the bank or the owner for free by showing the house and keeping it spic and span? Who will compensate me if the house sells before May 2011??

Answered by Ana


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If the property sells the new owner would honor the terms of your lease. If the property goes to trustee sale and the Notice of Default is filed after the start of your lease (check to see if the Notice of Default has been filed) then the bank or the 3rd party investor would have to honor the terms of your lease. If you were on a month to month agreement and the property sold in a traditional sale you would be give 30 days notice. If you were on a month to month agreement and the property went to trustee sale you would be given a 90 day notice. Typically leases allow for landlords to enter the property upon notifying the tenant in advance. This would include showing the property for sale.

Answered by Michelle


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My husband and I stay in Desoto County (MS) and have been renting for a year. We found out that our Lnadlord had not been paying mortgage for a least 8 months and the house is in Foreclosure pending status because he is trying to do a short sale, so since July we have been Month to Month. The Constaple came and served papers for us to pay rent or to go to court, and we know this is only to get us to move so he can show the house cause he has no time to waste. My husband and I do plan on making the court hearing with all our proof that he has not been paying and documents. My question is do we have ANY rights. Is there any thing that we can do are say when we go to court that would be in our favor.

Answered by Please Help


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We do not cover MS but in CA the rent is due based on the terms of the rental agreement regardless of whether or not the owner is behind on mortgage payments. You are paying rent in exchange for the occupancy of a home and that has been provided to you so rent would still be due and payable under the law. (at least in CA). You will definitely want to check with a local realtor or attorney in your area for specific advice regarding the laws in MS. Michelle
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We are renting, found out the owner is doing a short sale with the condo,the lease is out now,still paying rent. The bank, agent,owner came in and photographed everything, whole studio included,all our private things, my Art work, photography without permission, my art and photography has not been copied righted and they took my right to not have it photographed away. Now they are saying more people will be coming in to do the same, on a dime, someone could want to do this, even though an investor is already in process of buying it, if the back agrees to short sale. I feel bullied, cheated of the right to protect my work and I'm mad as hell and may need therapy to keep from ripping some heads off......chewing nails!

Answered by brandy


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We are renting, found out the owner is doing a short sale with the condo,the lease is out now,still paying rent. The bank, agent,owner came in and photographed everything, whole studio included,all our private things, my Art work, photography without permission, my art and photography has not been copied righted and they took my right to not have it photographed away. Now they are saying more people will be coming in to do the same, on a dime, someone could want to do this, even though an investor is already in process of buying it, if the back agrees to short sale. I feel bullied, cheated of the right to protect my work and I'm mad as hell and may need therapy to keep from ripping some heads off......chewing nails!

Answered by brandy


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HI Brandy, There is undoubtedly a clause in your lease that allows the landlord to make reasonable entry after giving you 24 hours notice. You may want to review the terms of your lease/rental agreement. I am not aware of any clause that prevents them from taking photographs on the property. I am not sure if you have any legal right to prevent them from taking photos. You may want to remove or cover up anything that you do not wish to be viewed or photographed. Most short sales can take a very long time and the realtor may want to continue to show the property in the event that the buyer backs out of the deal. Michelle
Thank You! No lease now, we were trying to renew and got the short sale surprise. Investor buying it, is pending, the bank and agent showed up, ask me to move out of the way and shot everything, would not let me take the time to put my Art work, photography away. I was told it would be a walk through by the bank for giving a go on the short sale, not a photo shoot of private things. My works are now in the hands of the bank and my right to protect my work from being photographed is gone, agent said more bank people will be coming, I've put the works away but damage done, they have collected shots of my work. What they should have done was tell me they were going to shoot the place and give me the chance to move what I didn't want the big bank people to have and not take my right away to not have people photograph Art/photograpgy etc. No lease....No rights, feel pushed around by agent and bank! The agent already knew how I felt and pulled this. brandy
Keep us posted on how this works out. Michelle
That just happen to us... we moved from 1000 miles away and moved into a house for sale. (short sale) Broker never told us.I have year lease.. I will NOT pay last months rent.. They can have their rent MY WAY. or they'll keep it. Would you trust them? debbie
That just happen to us... we moved from 1000 miles away and moved into a house for sale. (short sale) Broker never told us.I have year lease.. I will NOT pay last months rent.. They can have their rent MY WAY. or they'll keep it. Would you trust them? debbie
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hi i live in california i recently found that my landlord lost the house that i am renting i recieved several letters from real estate agents claiming they can save the house from foreclosure so of course this scared me so i called my land lord she assured the house had a ton of equity and that she was safe from foreclosure so i bought it and continued to pay the 1,500.00 for rent that was oct 5 2010 now i recieved hand delivered letters talking about a trustee sale so i called again this is now dec 5 2010 she acts confused and tells me those letters are wrong but this time i was feeling half and half about weather to trust her or not but i still have the rent( mom and dad didnt raise a fool) so any way i now have 3 of the same trustee notices saying the house is put up for sale on jan 18 2010 so i call my old land lord 1 more time and notified her about my concerns she still says something is wrong its not accurate then she says let me call my lawyer about 30 minutes later a guy calls me claiming to be her son and says he's going to be my new land lord and that im getting those notices because he's in the process of buying the house and that the letters will stop coming once he takes possession of the property and now he wants me to start sending him the rent by mail he claims he can show me his paper's prooving that he owns the property now what i am wondering is can that be possible to have trustee paper's and auction dates set and the house listed for sale on the internet on various web sites when someone is just simply buying a house my better judgement says no but i never bought a house yet oh and that's my question if anyone knows please let me know

Answered by mike


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Hi Mike, You can reach out to a local realtor that can verify whether or not the property is in foreclosure. It sounds like the property may be in foreclosure and her son is trying to purchase the property as possibly a short sale. I am only guessing here so the first step will be to determine the current foreclosure status and then determine what you want to do. You will find that a local agent that specializes in foreclosures can answer all of your questions. Under the letter of the law you are obligated to pay rent on a property regardless of whether or not the loan is in default. You are still getting the benefit of the occupancy of the property in exchange for your rent. In CA if a property does go to trustee sale the new owner is required to give the tenant a 90 day notice or honor the terms of the lease provided it was signed prior to the Notice of Default. Even if the property goes to sale you will be given more than a 30 day notice. That said, many tenants stop paying rent when the find out the property is in foreclosure because they do not believe the landlord will pursue an eviction if they are going to lose the property. Michelle
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Hi, I'm still within the terms of my 1yr lease in Seattle WA. My landlord is about to list the condo I'm renting for a short sale. The landlord and realtor have asked me to leave the premises when the appraiser comes, when photos are being taken, when an open house is scheduled, and for viewing appointments. I understand they have to give me 24hr notice before entering the premises, but do they have a right to ask me to leave all of these times?

Answered by Shannon


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Hi Shannon, I do not believe they have the right to ask you to leave. It isn't necessary for you to stay during the inspections or the open houses but you do have every right to be there. That said, I do not have direct experience with tenant laws in Washington but unless there is some strange law I am not familiar with I do not believe they can force you to leave. Michelle
aaah NO stay their. its your home debbie
This just happened to me. I stayed and was helpful to the appraisers and inspectors. A new owner has the right to know what they are getting into. The worse it is, maybe the longer you'll be able to stay there! CJ
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We received a 30 day notice to terminate tenancy at will in nov., when i talked to the landlord he saisd he was in trouble but was working on saving the house. We paid rent for dec., then received an unlawful detainer lawsuit(only landlord was named) on his behalf. He tells us he responded, and now i found out he is trying to do some kind of short sale thing. Can he? And what are our rights, given the unlawful detainer?

Answered by MichelleDunlop


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Hi Michelle, We are bit confused by the situation. An Unlawful Detainer is what an owner of a property would file to start the eviction process of a tenant. A Notice of Default is what the bank would file to start the foreclosure process. If the bank filed a Notice of Default then you would not be named. It sounds like the owner gave you the proper notice to move back in November and could seek to evict you at this time. Michelle
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I have been renting a home in CA. The landlord told me it is a short sale. It is being sold 'as is.' I asked them to do some minor plumbing and if they could fix the refrigerator. I am a bit miffed because the money I pay them goes straight to their pocket, not to pay a mortgage. After asking them to make 2 minor repairs they asked me to vacate by the end of the month. I've been advised to just wait it out until something is in writing. I don't have time to find something in 20 days. I need to save money to move out of the house and find something else. What can I expect next? How long does an eviction take?

Answered by Jeff


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Hi Jeff, You will want to read your lease/rental agreement. It is my understanding that a landlord must give a tenant in Ca at least 60 days notice. That does mean that you would need to pay rent for the 60 days. If you fail to pay the rent they can serve you with a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit. After the 3 days they can file an unlawful detainer which starts the eviction process. Keep in mind that an unlawful detainer on your record could cause you problems when you try to rent a new place. As long as you are receiving the benefit of the tenancy the rent is due. It does not matter if the landlord is making the payments or not. If the landlord is refusing to make repairs you should issue a request in writing for the repairs to be made. If the landlord fails to make the repairs after you have notified them you MAY consider making the repairs and deducting this amount from your rent. Before you do so you should consult with an attorney or a housing counsellor to make sure you are within your rights to do so. Michelle
i rented this place on july, 2010 i'm on a 1 years lease. the owner have a management company who i pay rent to every month. the owner of the property died dec. on sat. april 16, 2011.i received a letter stating not to pay rent to the management co. to pay rent to the deceased owners son in law. but should i have receive a letter from the management co. stating they are no longer collecting the rent any more. because the property is up for sale, it's about ten units. do i pay him or the management co. tonya hodge
Hi Tonya, You have the letter instructing you to pay rent to someone other than the management company. You could certainly contact the management company to verify but the owner of the property (or their heirs) have the right to hire/fire a management company. Because you have the proof of the letter that should be sufficient to cover your concerns. I would certainly ask who you now call for other management issues and get clarity on who is handling maintenance requests. It may be that the management company is no longer collecting rents but is still involved in the maintenance. Your best bet is to always get things in writing so that you have written proof of any changes. Michelle
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My landlord informed me verbally and via text that she was starting a short sale process on the condo I am renting from her (California). I responded by saying that I would be looking for a new property to rent although i have 4 months of lease remaining. Few days later, she got upset once i told her that I had found a new place. Now she is stating that she will be stopping the short sale and that if I was to leave, she will come after me for the remaing months and will keep my security deposit. Since I have proof via text of her short saling intent , does the California law protect me from her coming legally after me?

Answered by Ella


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Hi Ella, The lease remain in force regardless of the owners desire to potentially list and sell the property. Unfortunately she could seek a judgement for the term of the lease agreement. The obligation goes both ways. Even if she decided to sell the property the new owner would be obligated to honor the terms of the lease. Michelle
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We are 14 months into a 2 year lease and we thought up until Friday it was being foreclosed on in 2 days so we used our February rent to put a deposit down on another property and are in the process of moving. We just found out that it won't be foreclosed on 3/1 because they closed on a short sale. We want out but our lease is for another 10 months. Do we have any rights now that it is a short sale to leave? I don't have rent now.

Answered by Elizabeth


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We have been renting a single family home in AZ since Aug of 09. Last August our year lease was up for renewal and we signed it toward the end of August. Fast forward Feb 20, 2011 and we received an email from the landlord stating that the house was going to be going to auction in 10 days. I found out that he had a letter of default Aug 1 2010, that we'd signed the lease with him already knowing he was in default and didn't notify us nor offer to go month to month. To add insult to the injury, he raised our rent at the renewal time $200 a month, making it $2k. The owner lives in CA and does not have a broker managing the property (against AZ law), also the property was listed as owner occupied with the mortgage company. Since the notice of auction was sent to us, he has discontinued collecting rent from us. The auction was postponed (not sure if it was because I insisted that he change the status to tenant occupied?) until the 28th of this month (one month after the original date). He had promised to send our deposit money in full on March 1, when it didn't arrive I asked him when I could expect it and he said that since the postponement he is trying to short sale the house and would hold on to the money until he knows what will happen. The owner is an investment attorney in CA. How far outside of the law is this contract and what consequences could he face? I wrote to him after he initially gave us notice of the auction that I don't have the will to fight him on this or the energy (just underwent surgery for lung cancer), that as long as he played nice, we would as well. Now that he has again broken his word and not sent the deposit as promised in writing, I'm willing to go as far as it's necessary to get what's rightfully ours. It's my understanding that he could also face disbarment in CA.

Answered by Christi


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Hi Christi, The occupancy issue would have more to do with the loan origination then the current occupancy status. I do not know if any of this is grounds for disbarment or even necessarily a punishable offense. On the other hand, rent is technically due on a property regardless of whether or not the mortgage is paid current or in default. If you still have occupancy and use of the property then you are receiving the benefit of the tenancy of the property that you are currently paying for. That said, many tenants stop paying rent on properties in foreclosure because they do not believe the landlord will eviction them for non-payment if they are losing the house. If you are no longer paying rent then it is reasonable that you are using your deposit toward the rent of the property. I would be really surprised if you received the deposit back from the landlord. The sale could potentially be postponed numerous times and then the bank or the investor would give you notice and potentially negotiate a cash for keys agreement to help you with the funds to move. If the owner of the property has committed fraud then it would be up to the lender to pursue that charge. If he has violated an AZ law about having a local manager then you would need to determine if that is worth pursuing. Keep in mind that this is someone that is losing a property to foreclosure. Unless you can determine that you are ready to fight a good fight and it is worth it to you to pursue (he has some assets and is not on the brink of BK) then you may want to let go of seeking punishment or a judgement. Only you can determine what is in your best interest. None of this is worth the stress it could put on your health. Michelle
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Im so confused. I have been renting this month to month for a year with a lease and now it is just month to month from a verbal agreement. I originally rented it through this realty company that advertised it. I paid them 1st last and 500 security. Since I moved in I have been served twice with forclosure papers. Everytime I would ask they would never aanswer my questions. Then one day the realtor that represents the owner came over and said the bank might comeover so i need to put a key in the lock box. next thing ya know im getting calls every day because they put my phone number on the listing. I have to show it to alol these people for a short sale. i know 2 people already put in offers and i know they want to continue to rent it to me. Now I am scared that the landlord is going to take off with my last month rent and security. my questions are:Do i have to keep paying rent during the shortsale? Do I have the right to prorate the last month and the security deposit?I dont see any reason why they would not have to return the security deposit if they are selling it as is,right? I feel like I am being taken advantage of. I know they are stretching the sale of this place so they can suck every dollar at of me. they are not paying there dues or morgage with it. Can they force me to leave even if the buy wants me to continue to live here? Every day is a battle. I have a 3 year old and nowhere to go. i need some sense of calming advice.

Answered by Marie


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Im so confused. I have been renting this month to month for a year with a lease and now it is just month to month from a verbal agreement. I originally rented it through this realty company that advertised it. I paid them 1st last and 500 security. Since I moved in I have been served twice with forclosure papers. Everytime I would ask they would never aanswer my questions. Then one day the realtor that represents the owner came over and said the bank might comeover so i need to put a key in the lock box. next thing ya know im getting calls every day because they put my phone number on the listing. I have to show it to alol these people for a short sale. i know 2 people already put in offers and i know they want to continue to rent it to me. Now I am scared that the landlord is going to take off with my last month rent and security. my questions are:Do i have to keep paying rent during the shortsale? Do I have the right to prorate the last month and the security deposit?I dont see any reason why they would not have to return the security deposit if they are selling it as is,right? I feel like I am being taken advantage of. I know they are stretching the sale of this place so they can suck every dollar at of me. they are not paying there dues or morgage with it. Can they force me to leave even if the buy wants me to continue to live here? Every day is a battle. I have a 3 year old and nowhere to go. i need some sense of calming advice.

Answered by Marie


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Hi Marie, You are under no obligation to show the property to prospective buyers. In fact, the owner would need to give you 24 hour notice in order to show the property (and that would be with the agent present). As long as you are living in the property the rent is due regardless of whether or not the owner is current on the mortgage. Oftentimes renters living in a property in foreclosure will stop paying rent because they believe the owner will not evict them if they are already losing the house to foreclosure. It sounds like it is time for you to look for another place to live. Although a typical rental agreement states that you cannot use a security deposit as your last months rent it may be in your best interest to do so. Although they could give you a 3 day notice to pay rent it is doubtful that they will pursue the eviction given the circumstance. There are non-profit housing services that can help you if you need assistance. You can find them by going to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. Michelle
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Freeloaders: quit your whining. Oh I have no where to go! It's not your house. If you want a house, buy one. There are many other places for rent. Go find one. Of course, you haven't paid your rent and you're staying in a great house. Why would you ever want to leave? It's not yours. Leave!

Answered by Getout


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looks like you havent been in this it stinks knowing they arent paying the bank but taking your money then when the time comes you have to move and that also cost it should be against the law to do this i was a home owner and would never do this to someone robin
You Odviously You Can't read Mr Get Out ............All these Tenants are paying rent....Why don't you try and rent a home during these times ...........Or buy and see how difficult it is........ Denise
This comment really pissed me off! I can't wait for a law to be passed that LL's can no longer "Rip" tennants off. How dare a tennant be paying rent and fullfilling their agreement and the Land Lord NOT be paying their obligation to the bank, KNOWINLY taking the tennants HARD earned money and pocketing it! It's criminal and Fraud. All of the undo stress and hardship this puts on the tennant is just UNETHICAL. How can you so called Landlords even sleep at night.? Sick N Tired
Hi Sick N Tired, When a tenant rents a property they agree to pay a certain amount each month for purposes of occupying the property. A tenant has the use of the property as outlined in this agreement regardless of loan status. Even a landlord that is in foreclosure can evict a tenant for non-payment. Under the terms of a month agreement most landlords can give a tenant 60 days notice to move. Under the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act the tenant would get a 90 day notice following a foreclosure sale. Also the PTFA would require the lender to honor the terms of the lease should there be a valid lease in place. Although moving is costly a tenant is rarely "damaged" in the foreclosure process. I do sympathize with tenants in this situation but you must keep it in perspective. Michelle
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In sep of 09 my family moved into a rental home from a duplex that went into foreclosure not we find out this on is in short sale sense Nov.Our lease was up on this house on the 15th of this month so we are basically going on a month to month without paperwork.i have Realtor calling like crazy.Do i have to show the place and what do i do if it sells.how long do i have either if it sells or goes into complete foreclosure.thank you

Answered by MIKE


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We are residing in our rental that is in short sale.I have had a realtor come to my home today that wanted to come in and look at our duplex,I was kind,enough to let him view the property.He isn't my land lord's realty Company.I then called the company that is representing our land lord.She stated on metro list that our rental is by appt only..... He then came back hours latter and left a note asking if he could bring a investor into see the rental.I called the woman whom holds the contract for our rental,she stated she would call this man again.I feel like my privacy has been invaded it's bad enough We have to show our rental but to have other companies be so aggressive.What are our rights to all different agencies come to our property Thanks

Answered by Denise


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Hi Denise, Although the landlord has a right to make a request for reasonable entry you should not have to field the calls from agents that wish to show the property. Normally they would need to give you at least 24 hours notice and the listing agent should be present for all showings since the unit is occupied. You do have the right to let them know that certain times are not convenient for you since you are the tenant. If the property sells as a short sale then they would be required to give you the appropriate notice based on the terms of your month to month tenancy. This may vary by your rental agreement and the area that you reside. In CA a landlord must give at least 60 days notice and if the property goes to trustee sale then the bank or 3rd party investor must give the tenant a 90 day notice. Michelle
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I am a tenant and the house that I am in is up for short sale, so the landlord put in writing, and how many days do I have to vacant t he proerperty?

Answered by Marleena


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I am a tenant and the house that I am in is up for short sale. Should this be done in writing. How many days do I have to vacant the propertyy?

Answered by Marleena


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HI Marleena, If you have been given the proper notice you will need to be out by the end of that term. If you were on a month to month tenancy then the landlord would only need to give you the appropriate notice based on the terms of your agreement and the laws of your state. After that term then the landlord would have to evict you. Michelle
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I am a tenant I rent a hose in Los Angeles Ca.month to month,I have slumlord,and lately we have been getting his mail and there all letters of foreclosure and agents been coming to the house and looking for him,he lives down the block, we tell them where he lives but when they go he doesn't answer the door,well my main question is on the4-8-11 he came to pick up the rent we told him we weren't going to pay the rent cause he hasn't fix anything in the the house we told him will pay him when all the issue's are taking care of,he took off mad he came later we a later that was saying that we wanted to move out and was giving us a month free he wanted us to sign it but we didn't so he took off even more mad the next day he went to turn off the water, we got a red tag on our door saying the water will be turn off on the 4/18/2011 thats not all on our yarn there is a for sale sign we called the agent,she didnt want to give us any info. what can we do or should do?

Answered by Jeff


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Get legal help. Legal Aid may be able to help you. If you can afford it find an eviction attorney.

Answered by Richard


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I signed a renewal lease in Dec 2010 to Dec 2011. It is may i pay my rent on time never been late on my rent and take very good care of the house . I been here a year and half and never had to call land lord for repairs. I rented the house through a realtor. The realtor called me may 5 2011 and told me the land lord has the house up for short sale with out any notice . i paid my rent may 1 2011 i have seven months left on my lease. Dont i have any rights

Answered by barbara


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Hi Barbara, Even though you have a lease that does not prevent the owner from listing or selling the property. The lease would be disclosed to any potential buyers and would be enforceable through the term of the lease agreement. A short sale can take several months to close so it is likely that the property will not close until after the expiration of your lease. After that a least will typically become a month to month agreement. The notice to vacate will depend on the laws of the state and could be 30-60 days.

Answered by Michelle


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im renting a home from friends thats in forecloser, quit paying rent when my husband lost his job, there mad now cause we cant pay, but were slowly saving to move out. they said they filled baankruptcy on the house and is in forecloser. their leaving threating messages and the whole 9 yards. what are our rights. o and a huge point is we dont gave ANY rental agreement, we never signed anything, how are they gonna take us to court what should we do?

Answered by kristin


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Hi Kristin, As long as you are getting the benefit of living in the property the rent is due regardless of whether or not the payments on the mortgage are current or the property is in foreclosure. Oftentimes renters will stop paying rent when a home goes into foreclosure because they believe that the landlord will not go through with an eviction when they are ultimately going to lose the property. This does not mean that they cannot evict you. In your case you have a verbal agreement and you were paying rent at one point. They could certainly still evict you since you have established a month to month tenancy. If you are friends then you may want to work something out. Even after you move out they could still potentially take you to small claims court to seek a judgment. Maybe you can come to some agreement or they may be willing to accept a lesser amount given the situation. Michelle
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in a short sale can i still collect rent till tenant moves out and i give them 6o days? or is a free ride for them?? Im still paying utilities and insurance??

Answered by Kaur


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Hi Kaur, As long as the tenant has the benefit of the occupancy of the property then the rent is due. Tenants oftentimes stop paying rent if they hear that the mortgage is delinquent or if the property is being listed as a short sale because they believe that the landlord will not pursue an eviction on a property they are "losing". Even when you give them a 60 day notice they are still obligated to pay rent. Michelle
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The house I'm renting is on a short sale. My lease was up in April 2011..I know the owner isn't paying mortgage (ho told me) so I negotiated 50% off my rent. He keeps the bucks, I live for half the rent . The only thing is I need to deal with realtors and potential buyers calling my cell anytime, anyday..but other than that I'm enjoying the ride!

Answered by Inland Empire lizard


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Congratulations to both of you for creating a win/win situation!! Michelle
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I am in California. My lease expires in 20 days. The place is up for short sale. What happens when my lease is up?

Answered by MacDrizzy


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Hi MacDrizzy, If there is not a termination notice given by either the tenant or the landlord at the end of the lease then typically the lease will turn into a month to month agreement. You would want to look at the terms of your lease to verify this information. Michelle
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I live in california. The house that we are renting was put on short sale for a couple of months then the bank decided to put the house in public auction. Now we are still living in the house and paying the rent. Another realtor came to my house and said that the public auction was moved and he is the new listing agent. After showing the house to some people they received an offer and gave us 15 days (until May 31) to vacate the property. Because it is the condition of the lender of the buyer. What is our right as a tenant? I didn't receive any written notice it was just a verbal notice from the listing agent. Do I still have to wait for the written notice? Can I ask for an extension to stay in the house since my kids are still in school until June 16. Can they evict us?

Answered by alex


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I live in california. The house that we are renting was put on short sale for a couple of months then the bank decided to put the house in public auction. Now we are still living in the house and paying the rent. Another realtor came to my house and said that the public auction was moved and he is the new listing agent. After showing the house to some people they received an offer and gave us 15 days (until May 31) to vacate the property. Because it is the condition of the lender of the buyer. What is our right as a tenant? I didn't receive any written notice it was just a verbal notice from the listing agent. Do I still have to wait for the written notice? Can I ask for an extension to stay in the house since my kids are still in school until June 16. Can they evict us?

Answered by alex


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Hi Alex, Review your lease or rental agreement. In most cases the landlord would need to give at least a 30 day notice regardless of whether or not they are selling the property as a short sale or any other type of sale. You may be entitled to a 60 day notice under current laws in CA and if you have a valid lease they would need to honor the terms of your lease. If the property goes to foreclosure sale (Trustee Sale in CA) then you are entitled to a 90 day notice based on the PTFA (Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act). The landlord would also need to give you the notice in writing. Michelle
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We were on a month to month rental agreement in California. The owner is doing a shortsale. The air conditioner stopped working and we were told by the realtor that we didn't need to pay rent. We have been here for a few months and it looks like the house may be have been sold. I think it is closing in a few weeks. How much notice will we have here in California?

Answered by bd


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Hi Bd, You will want to check your rental agreement. There should be something in your rental agreement that states the required notice to vacate. It is ofter 30 days notice and in many cases it is now 60 days notice. Under the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act if the property has been foreclosed upon then the tenant would be given 90 days notice. Michelle
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We live in northern Ca. we rented a house in March and on May 26, I saw the house on MLS for short sale. We have been paying our rent on time and not one time has the landlord said anything to us about the house going into short sale. We have been calling the landlord since May 26, and he will NOT answer his phone or return or phone calls. It is now June 8, 2011 and I dont know if I should send the rent or use it to move out. We DO NOT have a lease agreement because he NEVER came to the house to bring us one he kept saying his job was preventing him to from coming down to bring us the paperwork. Im confused because when we talked he knew we needed a long term rental we have kids that are in school and we have just settled into this house and a little over two months and we are dealing with this! We have NOT received any notice from anyone I just so happen to be looking for house for sale in the area and our rental was on the list as a short sale! This cannot be right renters have to have some kind of protection against things like this! It's just sad that someone would do another human being like this! I AM SO MAD I don't know what to do. PLEASE HELP!

Answered by Sharon


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I live month to month in a building that has been in foreclsure..seems they have someone who has agreed to the short sale and they are closing on the 30th...does that mean they own it the property as of the 30th? What are my rights? No lease, and if they want the tenants out, how long do I have?? I've been researching this and it looks grim....

Answered by stacey


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I lve in FLorida..if anybody is familiar with Flordia Renters rights..or has had similar problem. stacey
I lve in FLorida..if anybody is familiar with Flordia Renters rights..or has had similar problem. stacey
Hi Stacey, A short sale would be treated the same way as a regular sale. Since you are on a month to month agreement they would need to give you the appropriate notice to vacate. This is typically 30-60 days depending on the agreement and the area that you live. This varies from state to state, county to county and areas with rent control have different rules as well. A local agent in your area can usually answer your questions and can also help you to locate a new rental. Michelle
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I hope someone can help us. My daughter and her family of 5 currently reside in a PalmSprings CA condo, under a 3 years lease, which expires in Dec 2012. Landlord has just notified her they are putting the house on the market in a ShortSale and have asked her to voluntarily break the lease, offering them a $300 reduction in rent. We have been made aware of the fact that the landlords have not made any hoa payments for a very long time, and it's possible they may be rent skimming as well. Can someone please tell us where and what her rights are? They are pushing her for a response and today we notified them via email that we were seeking help through Real Estate experts, hopefully, such as yourselves. In a week, we are offering them a few choices, all of which include a large lump sum in cash up front and to live in the condo for 3 additional months rent free, giving them time to pack, and retain a smooth transition. My daughter must remain in Palm Springs as her children are going to the school of her choice and it may take sometime to find an acceptable rental. Can you please guide us in the right direction? Thank you

Answered by ROSANNA KELLEY


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Hi Rosanna, Provided your daughter is getting the benefit of residency in exchange for her rent the landlord can legally collect rent regardless of the fact that the mortgage is delinquent. Your daughter has a valid, enforceable lease that under the current CA laws would need to be honored even if the property went to trustee sale. It sounds as if the landlord is either going to sell or lose the property at trustee sale. It would probably be in your daughters best interest to negotiate the best possible deal and find a new place to live. The lease has a monetary value which is the amount of the rent over the 3 year period. Start with what is left and work backwards but keep in mind that this landlord may be having financial hardship so your free rent option may be your best bet. Although she could stay and fight it can be stressful living in a property that is listed for sale especially knowing that they will ultimately have to move. Michelle
Hi Michelle, thanks so much for answering my plea for help. Are you suggesting that we calculate $1200 (the monthly payment) by the remaining months of the lease, which comes to 16 months, a total of $19,200, and agree to vacate if this dollar amount is accepted by the landlord. You're right, I believe they are financially bankrupt, so I doubt it will come to that amount. Is it legal for my daughter to ask for a cashier check in the amount of $4,000 plus 3-4 months residing on the property rent free? And is she legally bound to having to show the property to realtors? On her lease, she did not check off the box that stipulates a lock box can be adhered to the front door. I have 7 years of real estate experience, the last three were as a transaction coordinator for Keller Williams Realty in Palm Springs. The landlord is listing their property with this firm. As a transaction coordinator I am fully aware of the fact that with a tenant occupied property, an estoppel must be completed by my daughter, exposing the full details of her lease, including the expiration date of Dec. 2012. If this property is purchased, will the new owners know they have a tenant on site with a legally binding lease? If the landlord does not offer my daughter a financial deal does it fall upon the new owner to either honor the lease until it expires or can they offer keys for cash? Thanks for all your help, Rosanna ROSANNA KELLEY
Hi Rosanna, The lease would be disclosed to any potential buyers and they would honor the terms of the lease. The landlord also has the right to enter after giving adequate notice, typically 24 hours notice. I have not heard of a landlord who is in default "buying out" a tenant for such a large sum but anything is possible. Michelle
Hi Michelle, We understand that the unit must be shown to potential buyers and that my daughter will need to complete an estoppel to present to the new buyer. We also know there's not a snow-ball's chance in hell to get the landlord to agree to such an enormous sum, so we will be reasonable and do the honorable thing and not extort them. But the choice is theirs, my daughter's not giving up without a fight, and it will cost the landlord for her to agree to break the lease voluntarily. My daughter is prepared to take the high road and remain in the property until the lease expires, even if it means discouraging potential buyers from making an offer. If I am correct about them rent skimming, it won't be long before the bank files a foreclosure notice and they lose it to the bank. We are attempting to get a reasonable amount of cash, a few months rent free and move out upon a scheduled date. If it's okay with you, we will keep in touch as we begin future communications. Thanks, Rosanna Rosanna Kelley
Hey Rosanna, We hope you will keep us posted!! The information you share may help others in similar situations. I certainly believe in fighting the good fight but keep in mind that even when you are right the fight does take an emotional toll. As long as you are doing what is best for you then you are making a wise decision. When the fight becomes about seeking a moral victory or a battle between good and evil then you will find that the fight is oftentimes not worth it when at the end of the battle you have to move anyway. Michelle
Hi Michelle, we have sent the landlord their options and they have rejected all of them outright. They live in Illinois and we truly believe they are financially strapped. I understand they will be in default of their lease if they stop paying their rent, which is due on July 5th. The landlord reminded them their rent is due then. If my daughter does not pay rent, is there a time limit that the landlord has to wait before beginning eviction proceedings, and if they start them, how long does the process usually take? Since they live out of state, do they have to actually come to California to face them in court to force eviction? My daughter needs close to $6,000 to move and has to save up, but she can't do it if she pays $1,200 a month. Please give us your feedback on what the law says. Is my daughter legally bound to show the property even while she has an active 3 year lease? Where are her rights to being allowed to live a normal quiet life in the home as indicated by the law, without having strangers enter her home. I look forward to your reply Michelle. Michelle, are you a real estate attorney? Regards, Rosanna ROSANNA KELLEY
Hi Rosanna, If she stops making her rent payments the landlord would need to serve her with a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit and then they could proceed with the eviction by filing the Unlawful Detainer. They would not need to personally appear, they could hire a representative to appear on their behalf. A contested eviction (you answer the complaint) would typically take about 45 days. Keep in mind that having an eviction on your record can make it tough to rent a place in the future. Years ago when I managed properties an unlawful detainer on your record was grounds for an immediate denial of the application. Even though people will submit letters explaining the situation it is extremely hard for a landlord to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys and if you are managing properties for an investor you just don't want to make a judgment call and be wrong! Proceed with caution when deciding what you are going to do. Michelle
Hi Michelle, thanks for responding so quickly. We will most definitely proceed with caution and keep in touch as things progress. I am so grateful that I found you! Rosanna ROSANNA KELLEY
Hi Michelle, thanks for responding so quickly. We will most definitely proceed with caution and keep in touch as things progress. I am so grateful that I found you! Rosanna ROSANNA KELLEY
Hi Rosanna I'm in a particularly odd situation as well maybe you can shed some light on it for me. I found an ad on craigslist for a house for rent in Desert Hot Springs by a very very chipper & outgoing attitude. I spoke with his wife briefly nothing too important claiming to be in final closing on buying this house. ok me & my wife went to see the house,we liked it laid it all out for him & he seemed very accomidating,ok he also told us once we did the app we were good, he also told us that he wanted to make it a few(8) days into the month bcuz thats when he was finalizing the loan docs so the house would be in his name,ok i said so when we signed the lease he knew he didnt own the house & was not leagally able to sign a lease let alone collect rent money & pocket the money.Come to find out 2 months in the lease red flags came up when utility bills were in someone elses name.Also come to find out that the house was still up for sale He didnt own the house it was in a short sale his wife is the realty listing agent for it & I tried on a few occasions to call & get info about the house from the wife but was always ignored.Now he does finally own the place & once i told him im not gonna pay him rent till he owned it & could prove it on grant deed & he agreed now he has filed an unlawful detainer against me & my family what can i do in my defense? THIS IS UNETHICAL Calvin Embrey
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I have lived in my 1-bedroom rental since 1987 and have been on a month-to-month lease after the first year's lease ended. 2 months ago, a representative of a bank stopped by to tell me that the building was now in foreclosure and owned by the bank. I was shocked but not really surprised to learn that the owner could not pay the mortgage. I was contacted shortly after the visit by a property management company who asked me to sign a new month-to-month lease and other required forms of tenant responsibility. I then learned that the property management company he represented was actually sub-contracted by the primary property management company that the bank had hired. How confusing for me. I complied and signed the lease and have been paying my monthly rent for the past 2 months since the foreclosure. Recently I was asked to supply the sub-contracted property management company with a copy of my apartment keys (3) . Am I legally obliged to give them copies of the keys? I am reluctant to do so. I would be ok with supplying a new owner the keys, but a property management company leaves me feeling less than secure.

Answered by Steve


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Hi Michelle, I have been renting my CA house for two years. The owner is old and her children decided they wanted to sell this house first. Our home changed hands and all we received was a letter stating that the house was going from xx company to xx company. We haven't met with the new guy and haven't received anything in writing from him but realtors and brokers have been calling nonstop because, surprise! The house is for sale! It's embarrassing but I've been doing my homework and I think I need something in writing from someone before I let anyone in. Is there any way we can move out in peace without people walking through our home? They have also asked us to leave while they do a caravan. This doesn't feel right. Help? Thank you for any input you have!!! Jeanne

Answered by Jeanne


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Hi Michelle, I have been renting my CA house for two years. The owner is old and her children decided they wanted to sell this house first. Our home changed hands and all we received was a letter stating that the house was going from xx company to xx company. We haven't met with the new guy and haven't received anything in writing from him but realtors and brokers have been calling nonstop because, surprise! The house is for sale! It's embarrassing but I've been doing my homework and I think I need something in writing from someone before I let anyone in. Is there any way we can move out in peace without people walking through our home? They have also asked us to leave while they do a caravan. This doesn't feel right. Help? Thank you for any input you have!!! Jeanne

Answered by Jeanne


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Hi Jeanne, Most rental/lease agreements allow for entry by the landlords provided you are given the appropriate notice. In most cases that is 24 hours notice. You do have the right to refuse a particular day if it creates a hardship or conflict (i.e you will be home recovering from surgery etc). You are not obligated to leave the property while they show it and you can be a stickler about the 24 hour notice. It is very typical that a listing agent will not want tenants in the property when they show it and a "caravan" tour typically means that this is when the listing agent will have a group of local Realtors preview the property for potential clients. It is never easy living in a rental that is on the market. It is tough even on owners that have listed their homes. You should not have to field the calls from anyone other than the listing agent. All other Realtors should schedule a showing through the listing agent. Michelle
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Hi ~ We were renting a house for 3 years with good terms but we had to move-out because the owner raised our rent and we couldn't afford it. We needed a place to stay right away so our landlord offered us a house to rent month to month that is supposively awaiting to be approve in short sale for it could take months until the bank approves it as what the landlord said. We just moved in July 1st and 2 days ago we got a call from the landlord stating the house have been sold and it's in escrow process. Today, July 31st, the buyer came to inspect the house along with their agent and the agent told us the escrow will close in 2 weeks and the new owner wants to move-in and wants us to move-out in 2 weeks. also, the buyer and agent was not aware the house was occupied when she submitted her offer to the bank . She appologized for the inconvenient we have to go through. As a tenant, what are our rights, what leverage are we entitled to, what should we do should I contact a lawyer. Do we still have to pay rent for August? please help!

Answered by Christina


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My lease is up at the end of Oct 2011. I have received notice that the house will go into foreclosure on Nov 17, 2011. Payments on the home have not been since May. What are my options to stay in the house after the foreclosure date?

Answered by Lydia Schaefer


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Hi Lydia, You will undoubtedly be on a month to month tenancy when the property goes to foreclosure. The new owner after the trustee sale (bank or investor) will be obligated to give you a 90 day notice to vacate. In most cases they will try to negotiate a cash for keys agreement to get you to move a little earlier. Michelle
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My question is that we are in the process of buying a short sale home in Florida. Upon our first visit to the home in June the house was unoccupied. Yesterday during the inspection we found out the house is now occupied is this legal? We are under contract, and we were told by our Realtor that the property manager of a staging company is living in the home and will be out prior to our final walk through. I am very upset with this and not sure to proceed with the closing. Please any advice would help thanks.

Answered by Melly


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My husband and I, we are both handicapped seniors, I am confined to a wheelchair have been renting a single family residence now month to month for the past 4 years in rural northern California.. Our landlord has been rent skimming at least since last December and has ignored our written requests for habitability repairs. We requested and received a NOD from the county recorder, (it was not posted on the property) and the trustee sale is scheduled for November 11. The property has decreased drastically in value, even though it is tax assessed at what we think is a fair market value before repairs. - the property will probably end up belonging to the Bank since the outstanding mortgage is too high no one will buy the property at this price. We have not yet received a Notice of trustee sale. We have always paid our rent on time, until September when we finally realized the landlord had no intention of honoring his responsibility to do the repairs. Who is responsible for these repairs after the trustee sale? Do you think the Bank will consider a purchase offer from us for the property "as is" at what we think is a reasonable price? During the 90 days grace period after the trustee sale, who get the rent? Are we entitled to a rent refund? And if so, from whom? Thanks for replying. Fran

Answered by Fran


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My husband and I, we are both handicapped seniors, I am confined to a wheelchair have been renting a single family residence now month to month for the past 4 years in rural northern California.. Our landlord has been rent skimming at least since last December and has ignored our written requests for habitability repairs. We requested and received a NOD from the county recorder, (it was not posted on the property) and the trustee sale is scheduled for November 11. The property has decreased drastically in value, even though it is tax assessed at what we think is a fair market value before repairs. - the property will probably end up belonging to the Bank since the outstanding mortgage is too high no one will buy the property at this price. We have not yet received a Notice of trustee sale. We have always paid our rent on time, until September when we finally realized the landlord had no intention of honoring his responsibility to do the repairs. Who is responsible for these repairs after the trustee sale? Do you think the Bank will consider a purchase offer from us for the property "as is" at what we think is a reasonable price? During the 90 days grace period after the trustee sale, who get the rent? Are we entitled to a rent refund? And if so, from whom? Thanks for replying. Fran

Answered by Fran


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Hi Fran, The owner of the property is still responsible for repairs to the property until the trustee sale. Although technically the rent is due regardless of the loan delinquency. Most renters will stop paying rent once the house is in foreclosure because it is unlikely that the landlord would go through the eviction process if they are losing the house. It is POSSIBLE that the bank would consider selling the property to you after the foreclosure. You would not know if this is possible until the trustee sale happens. Michelle
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I live in a single dwelling in California. I am 3 months into a 12 month lease. Can the owner put the house up for short sale, keep my rent, give me 60 days notice even if my agreement says no for sale sign can be placed in yard until 30 days prior to lease being up? Can the lease be amended?

Answered by Felepa


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I've been renting a house for 5 years then I get a notice saying its going into foreclosure then a broker comes and says its going into short sale and cash 4 keys is not an option is that correct?

Answered by Tasha Davis


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Hi Tasha, If you are on a month to month agreement the landlord can give you the appropriate notice (30 or 60 day notice) to vacate the property under the terms of your rental agreement. If you are on a lease they would need to honor the terms of your lease. In this case you would also get your deposit back provided you left the property in reasonable condition. In the case of a foreclosure sale a lender or investor would offer a cash for keys incentive to get you out of the property by a certain date and give you some money because by law they do not hold or have to refund the security deposit. Your security deposit is you "cash for keys" in a traditional rental situation. Michelle
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Hello- I'm Angela and I've been renting a condo for 5 years. Now the owner has a court date later this month for foreclose. Yesterday he informs me that he's doing a short sale on the property now. My lease was renewed this past April til 2013. He now wants us to sign a NEW lease. WHY? The Condo Assoc.said that he can't sale his property for rental income. The new owner has to be living there. If we sign the NEW lease. Would that be a mistake? I really don't trust what he's saying I'm so confused. Any advise- sugguestions and thoughts are helpful.. thank you!

Answered by Angela Cifax


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Hi Angela, Very strange indeed. The landlord would not benefit from the new lease unless you are giving him more money? Even if he was short selling it would be better for him if you were on a month to month agreement. Something doesn't sound quite right. Michelle
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I am buying a short sell house that has renters in it. The house is in escrow and we need to have the home inspection and so forth done, however we dont want to do anything until the renters are out in the event they distroy the place. We asked our agent when there lease or month to month was up no reply seems know one knows. What are our rights with disclossure on this property on the tenets. Can they stay even if I am buying it will I have to go to court to get them out???

Answered by Sherrie Ranae


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Hi Sherrie, In a "traditional" (non short sale transaction) you could hold back some funds in escrow until the renters were out. In the case of a short sale there are no funds to hold back since the seller is getting nothing back after the sale. Your agent should be able to advise you in this case. Have you had a conversation with the tenants? Do they appear to be clear or are they a bit hostile? If they do not get out by the close of escrow you could be faced with evicting them. Although you may be wise to wait until they are out to close escrow you also risk losing the short sale approval since the lender is usually very strict on the time line to close. Michelle
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What if the tenant never had a rental agreement, has never paid rent and is the estranged spouse of the seller. What rules apply...do they still get a 30 day eviction notice even though they know darn well that this shortsale has been going on for the last 6 months???

Answered by Kari Jo


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Hi Kari Jo, If they have lived there and received mail for 30 days or more then they would likely be considered a legal tenant. If they are unwilling to move then it may be necessary to evict them. Michelle
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Hello: This is a GREAT resource, and I'm hoping you can answer a question I haven't seen specifically addressed already. We're tenants in a home in CA that went to Trustee Sale yesterday. Our lease term is through 6/15/2012. An investment company bought the home and showed up here within hours, with a 90-day eviction notice. He said the our lease was invalid due to a "shift in ownership." I know that's not true, since we meet the "bona-fide" lease requirements. But the representative also brought up a point I'm not as clear on. We paid our full rent for November--$1,200 on the 1st--to the previous landlords, per our lease agreement. They have cashed the check. The investment co. rep now says that we owe the pro-rated rent to his company from the date of sale through the end of November or they will file a 3-day notice to quit. I told him we'd already met our terms under the agreement and would start paying his co. on December 1st. He replied that we'd have to take the former landlords to small claims court to get Nov. rent back, but in the meantime, we definitely owe his company the rent or face immediate eviction. He also claims that we should sue the prior landlords in small claims for our $1,200 deposit, that his company is not responsible for that. Is he right on either count? If he's not, do I need to put something in writing?? If so, what?? Thanks in advance for your advice!

Answered by Confused in CA


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Hi Confused, Under the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act they are required to honor the terms of your lease agreement. The PTFA says "under any bona fide lease entered into before the notice of foreclosure to occupy the premises until the end of the remaining term of the lease, except that a successor in interest may terminate a lease effective on the date of sale of the unit to a purchaser who will occupy the unit as a primary residence, subject to the receipt by the tenant of the 90 day notice under paragraph" The one thing that every attorney i have spoken to will say is that the PTFA is NOT well written. I have been told that it is not advisable to try to evict for non-payment after serving a 90 days notice. Although technically the rent is due and they could get a judgment for that amount they could not accelerate the notice with a 3 day non-payment notice. They are right in that you would need to sue the former owner for the security deposit. They are probably right when it comes to the prorated rent as well. Keep in mind that the courts tend to rule in favor of tenants. Most investors will typically negotiate a cash for keys incentive for you to be out by a certain date. Given that you do have a valid lease maybe this will give you some ground to negotiate a good deal. Keep in mind that most investors are looking to flip the property and your lease would tie up their money for almost a year. If they continue to to be difficult to deal with you may want to seek out a tenants rights attorney. If I were you I would try to negotiate the best possible deal and get out. If they are already making your life miserable I can only assume that they are not going to get any better. Michelle
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I was living in a house that waspart of a trust. The landlord and i had no written agreement but i paid 600.00 first mo and 300.00 half of the deposit. i lived and took excellent care of the house. on june 28 2011 landlord told ,e the house had no crawl space so they were hiribg a contractor to dig a hole under the house. I asked if my 10 yr old son had to move she said no. Yhe unliscensed contractor began the work and immediatly hit abd broke the water line i had no water for 4 days. the work a on the rawl spacw resumed over 4th of july weekend 2 men had to dig from inside the house and carry it out in a wheelbarrow. the work was continued until the inspection in August. and when it finally passed inspection she said how soon can you be out. I paniced and said i hope in thirty days but i had no place to go yet. on Aug 10 2010 landlord came into house and told me if i was out by Aug 14 2010 i could havw my deposit back. I thought it would be possible but the men in my church were busy. i rented a storage and began the move myself i called lanlord and realtor and told them i was not going to be able to and they became irritated and asked couldnt my family help ecr. i informed realtor in a text that i had NEVER been given a written notice by landllord (the are good friends) and that since the house was sold i needed the new owners to give notice to me. At 10:00 P.m. the land lord and realtor showed up at my house and tried to make me sign a paper stating that i had been given verbal notice in June, I refused and they both started yelling at me and my 10 year old son started to cry and went to his room. then i became aware that the new owners thought the house was already empty. and that the other realtor had sold it to her housekeeper. i asked them to leave and they wouldnt. i was told the new owners want to move in and that they have been living in a 1 room apartment. and that they are a "family" I told them i wa a family. i went tobe with my son. after 15 minutes they still were here and the andlord had hand written that if i wasnt out by Aug 24 at 12;00 i would owe her rent for the entire month of August. I ws afraid my son was afraid so i signed it, I also made them sign my statement that the only paperwork i had ever sighne was the above statement. I called in sick the next day because i was afraid they were going to lock me out.I was out by the 24th of August 2010. I never got any money back and the entire month of july the house was unlivable due to the repairs inspection required. is this legal? the contractor was un liscenced and 2 real estate agents knew my landlord hadnt given me a written notice?

Answered by daphne


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Hi Daphne, It sounds like you have a very good case for small claims court to at least get your deposit back. What they did was not legal and you could certainly consult with an attorney. I would suggest talking to a housing counselor if you cannot afford an attorney. You can find a free housing counselor by going to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov Michelle
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I live in Chicago, my lease is month-to month and actualy ends this November. the apartment is on shortsale and I am wondering if stop paying the rent, can I get in trouble? Because the landlord doesn't pay anymore to the bank for that apatrment, so basically I pay her and she puts that money to her pocket. pleae answer, thank you

Answered by sara


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Hi Sara, You are still receiving the benefit of occupancy for your agreed upon rental payment. If you stop paying rent the landlord can evict you for non-payment regardless of the status of their loan payments. Sometimes tenants stop paying rent because they do not believe the landlord will evict them if they are already losing the property. Michelle
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My lease started July 2010 and ended on July 2011. My landlord contacted me in September 2011 and advised me to stop paying the rent because he couldn't afford to keep up with the mortgage anymore. He also mailed me the deposit check back. I asked how long we had to vacate and he said he didn't know how fast the bank would move. Recently the landlord called and said he is trying to avoid foreclosure and the bank wanted the keys. I have since lost my job and have not been able to find another place to live. The landlord has since sent a realtor to take pictures of the home and has listed the home has a shortsale. My question is how to make sure I don't get an eviction on my credit because I want to purchase a home sometime in the near future? I also want to know what kind of notice I have to legally be faced with to vacate?

Answered by Mrs. Jones


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Hi Mrs. Jones, It sounds like the landlord has really tried to do the best that they can when it comes to treating your fairly. Your situation is unique in that the lender has given you permission to live there rent free. Now that the landlord is trying to short sell the house he could serve you with a 30 day notice to vacate or a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit before he started the formal eviction process. It sounds like you should talk to the landlord and see if there is a way for you to cooperate with the agent handling the short sale in exchange for continuing to live in the home. This would mean that you would allow the agent to show the property to prospective buyers. Once the property is sold you would be expected to move. Michelle
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PLEASE HELP! IN NOV.10,2011 A SUBSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE & A NOTICE OF TRUSTEE SALE WAS FILED,I AM A TENANT IN ARIZONA.MY LEASE IS NOT MONTH-TO-MONTH. I HAVE A 1 YEAR LEASE THAT HAS BEEN AUTO-RENEWED EVERY JUNE SINCE 2008.THAT SAID, THE HOME OWNER HAS FAILED TO MAKE PAYMENT SEPT.1,2010-PRESENT.I WAS NEVER INFORMED BY THE OWNER OR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT,I FOUND OUT FROM A PERSON WHO KNOCKED ON MY DOOR 3 DAYS BEFORE HALLOWEEN AND HANDED ME A BLANK,UNSEALED ENVELOPE CONTAINING A COPY OF THE NOTICES FILED.HE WAS INTERESTED IN "SAVING" THE HOME.I RENT THROUGH THE SECTION 8 HOUSING PROGRAM SO I CALLED MY CASEWORKER FIRST TO FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING ON.CASEWORKER NEW NOTHING ABOUT IT BUT QUICKLY CHECKED & FOUND IT TO BE TRUE.SHE SAID THAT EVEN THOUGH THE HOUSE WOULD BE AUCTIONED FEB.9,2012 I COULD STAY THE REMAINDER OF MY LEASE.THAT IF IT IS SOLD TO SOMEONE WHO INTENDS TO LIVE HERE, I WOULD STILL GET 90 DAYS NOTICE UNDER THE OBAMA LAW.THE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT JUST SENT A NOTICE OF LEASE TERMINATION EFFECTIVE JAN.31,2012,THEY REGRET TO INFORM ME THAT THEY ARE UNABLE TO EXTEND MY LEASE...WHAT EXACTLY DOES THIS MEAN???I AM NOT MONTH-TO-MONTH,MY LEASE WAS SIGNED JUNE,2011 & ENDS JUNE 30,2012.DO I HAVE TO MOVE BY JAN.31,2012?AM I STILL PROTECTED UNDER THE NEW OBAMA LAW? ...I CANT MOVE WITHIN 30 DAYS...SECTION 8 GIVES 2 MONTHS MOVE TIME TO ALLOW PACKING, RENTAL SEARCH,RENTAL INSPECTION,REPAIRS,2ND.INSPECTION & CONTRACT SIGNING PRIOR TO MOVING IN A NEW RENTAL.

Answered by CHRISTINE H. 911!


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HI Christine, Your case worker should be able to assist you. You will need to read your lease agreement carefully. It sounds like what you thought was an extended lease was simply a month to month agreement. What you MAY have been interpreting as a lease extension was an annual evaluation of the rental amount that they could only increase on the anniversary date. When your counselor references the Obama Law we believe she is talking about the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act. This would only apply if the property is foreclosed and sold at foreclosure sale. This does not apply during the foreclosure process. Michelle
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We learned the house we are renting is in foreclosure 6 months into our tenancy even though the landlords KNEW we were looking for a long term tenancy. The landlord has filed now filed BK and is now trying to do a short sale. The trustee auction is scheduled for 2/3/12. I know we are obligated to pay rent and am willing to, however since the landlords won't own the house when we move, there is no reason for them to return our $3500 deposit. Also I know they are broke and probably don't have it and based on their behavior, I doubt we will get it back without a lawsuit and even then, we might never collect. I asked if they would use our deposit for this months rent so we'd have it back to use towards our next place and that we'd continute to pay rent till the end. They said no. I am aware that if the house goes into foreclosure we get 90 days notice. but I heard it is less on a short sale. Is that true? Our original lease was for 1 year but they later revised it to be 4 years. Now there is bad blood between us and the landlords and I'm not sure if we still have a lease until 2014 or they will say we are mo to mo since the original version eneded this month. (we're in CA). I suspect they don't plan to give the deposit back because they haven't been honest about a number of other things. Is there a way to protect ourselves? We need that deposit in order to have enough money to rent another place and move. Is there a way to hold one months rent in an escrow account or othewise protect the recovery of our deposit? I guess the alternative is to find a place and move and just force them to use the deposit as the last months rent. What are the potential consequences to us for doing that? Thanks for the good information here.

Answered by Jamie


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Hi Jamie, You may need to have attorney look at your case or at least consult with a housing counselor. The issue would be the extension of the lease agreement and the validity of the 4 year lease. Was the extension signed before or after the property went into foreclosure? If they sell the property as a short sale then this would be like a traditional sale in terms of your tenancy. The new owners could elect to live in the property (and evict you) or they could honor the terms of your lease. If you decide to use the deposit as your last months rent and cite the pending foreclosure status as your reason the only recourse that the landlord would have would be to serve you with a 3 days notice and then proceed with the eviction process. Although possible it is unlikely that they would incur the cost to start the eviction process. Keep in mind that the eviction courts tend to be more sympathetic to tenants in cases like this. Make sure you are spelling everything out in writing so that you can produce a written record of all communication. You are right about the deposit after a foreclosure. You would be obligated to chase down the landlord to collect the deposit and if their BK is still pending they could include this deposit in the bankruptcy. Michelle
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I live in az the house that I have been renting sold in shortsale. The closing date is Jan 20th and my new house wont be ready till Feb 11. The owner is pissed because we will not be out by the 20th. Can they do anything about it?

Answered by rebecca


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I live in az the house that I have been renting sold in shortsale. The closing date is Jan 20th and my new house wont be ready till Feb 11. The owner is pissed because we will not be out by the 20th. Can they do anything about it?

Answered by rebecca


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-1
I live in az the house that I have been renting sold in shortsale. The closing date is Jan 20th and my new house wont be ready till Feb 11. The owner is pissed because we will not be out by the 20th. Can they do anything about it?

Answered by rebecca


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Hi Rebecca, They can start the eviction process which is pretty quick in Arizona (27-30 days) but still not fast enough to happen prior to the 11th. Since this is a short sale this may hold up the close of the sale. Other than evicting you there is not much that they can do. Michelle
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I live in Florida with my girlfrind and our combined children in a duplex. The owner lives on the other side of the duplex. She mentioned some time ago that she was considering selling the place. Two days ago, she listed it. Rent was due and my girlfriend and I paid our rent. She told us that she is 60 days past in payments right now. She also mentioned that she is not sure if she needs to collect our rent or not. The landlord said that she would talk to her attorney and see. The duplex is in a short sale and we don't know what to do or where to turn for advice? What I have read through here, or what I am comprehending is, that is it up to the landlord if she wants to keep collecting. I understand we have an agreement and if we were to not pay or any reduction, we should get something from her in writting in regards to so that we can not be held accountable for monies. Is this correct or just a pipe dream and we keep paying?

Answered by Paul


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Hi Paul, If you are living in the property and receiving the benefit of tenancy then the rent is technically due. Rents continue to be due regardless of the loan status. Oftentimes tenants will stop paying rent on properties in foreclosure because they believe that the landlord will not be willing to incur the additional costs of an eviction if they are losing the house anyway. She can still evict you for non payment even if she is in foreclosure. It sounds like she is a bit confused also. Maybe you can come to some agreement. Michelle
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How long does a tenant have to move out when a short sale has been made in the state of florida, 90 days or 30 days???

Answered by waleska


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Hi Waleska, In the case of a short sale your landlord would give you the appropriate notice as outlined in your lease/rental agreement. This is typically 30 or 60 days notice. Michelle
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I'm in a two year lease with four months left,I found out the landlord has not paid his mortgage in two Months and now he's trying to do a short sale.what I want to know is what are my rights as renters if it does sell .I pay pay my rent on time every month,and he has a my security deposit.

Answered by jeremy


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Hi Jeremy, If you are getting the benefit of the occupancy of the property then the rent is legally due regardless of the loan status. The landlord does have the right to list and sell the house subject to your lease agreement. A short sale is merely the sale of the property where a lender agrees to accept less than what is owed and release the lien on the property. Your lease is up in 4 months and it likely converts into a month to month agreement at the end of the lease. This means that the owner could decide not to renew the lease and they would then be able to give you notice to vacate. This is usually 30-60 days. The landlord would be responsible for returning your security deposit or transferring that to the new owner should the property sell. Michelle
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I am currently in a 6 month lease with 2 months left. Husband and I signed a 6 month lease with intent to move out. Our landlord emailed us to tell us that she "may" be putting the house up for sale, giving us a heads up that a realtor will be calling me to set up a time to look at the house. When he shows up, I find thats actually a short-sale. Shouldn't she have informed us of the fact? I know she has the right to put the home up for sale, but she has not even contacted us back to say that the house was in fact going on the market. Now, my own personal cell phone has been listed on the MLS. I am getting all sorts of phone calls at all different times from other realtors wanting to show the house! There is no "for sale" sign out front, no communication from her! I am outraged because while I have no problem with people coming to view the house, with proper notice, I do not feel that I am obligated to facilitate this sale! I really don't feel I should be even entertaining the idea of showing until I at least hear from my landlord. Also, there are items on the listing that are mine. What are MY rights?

Answered by MS


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I forgot to mention I live in FL

Answered by MS


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HI MS, You are under no obligation to personally take calls and show the property. That would be up to the listing agent. For the purposes of selling a property there would be no difference to the tenant between the listing of a traditional sale and a short sale. The only difference in the process is that the lender is agreeing to accept less that what is owed and release the lien. Michelle
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My son rents a home for me. We signed a lease for 2 years and in February that lease was up but the owner accepted our check making it a month to month. It has been in a short sale listing for over 6 months. We paid $2490 for last month's rent and a $2500 deposit. I made an addendum to our lease because the lease he had for us didn't protect us at all, and I added that it is the law that he is to put our last month's rent and deposit into an escrow account. He crossed this off and wrote "self", but signed the addendum. Now we have asked him twice to prove he has our money in escrow and he says he has but will not give us the proof. How can we find out if he has the money and how can we protect our deposit. It looks as if the sale will go through in a few months. Also how much notice will we be given when it does sell? We live in Seattle, WA.

Answered by pepper Wynn


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Hi Pepper, Having the funds in escrow does not do any more to protect you than if the funds are held personally by the landlord. When funds are held in escrow the escrow (read neutral 3rd party) can only release funds if all parties agree. This does not mean that you have the unlimited access to these funds. You would still probably have to file a small claims case to force the release if a disagreement came up. If the property sells then the landlord would need to give you the appropriate notice under the terms of your rental agreement and would be required to return your security deposits less any damages or cleaning fees. Michelle
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I am renting a house that is going through a short sale. I have a lease thats good until October 1. I'm in the process of qualifying for a home loan so I can purchase my own home. In the meantime I will continue to rent. The problem I'm having is: the reason the owner is letting the house go is because the property needs a lot of repairs and he is not willing to put the money into it. The major problem I'm having is the house needs a new roof. The ceiling in the master bedroom is "bubbling" from the water accumulating in the ceiling, near the light fixture and ceiling fan. There is also visible mold growing in the bedroom. In addition, everytime it rains water comes in through the window pane in my sons bedroom. His room also has a small hole in the ceiling from the last rain storm. Although there is a hole no water is coming through (not sure how that works). His room also has a mildew smell to it, I am no longer allowing him to sleep in there. I contacted the owner because I'm concerned about the potential safety hazard of having water accumulating near the light fixture (electricity). He stated that it should be fine and there is no hazard, and that I just need to "wait it out" until the property is sold. In addition to the safety concern, my sons room is no longer a functional living space, and the master bedroom may not be soon. What can I do? Who is responsible for repairs in a short sale situation? Do I really have to "wait it out"? I feel like I'm being given the run around from the owner. The short sale process has just begun and could take months to complete. I have continued to pay the rent. Lastly, once the property sells and I move out who will be responsible for refunding my $1595 security deposit, or should I kiss thatt goodbye?

Answered by Danielle


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Hi Danielle, You would be wise to document the defects and put that information in writing to the landlord. Just because he is selling the house does not mean that he can force you to live with these problems. There are a few things that you can do if he refuses to make the necessary repairs. You can make the repairs and then deduct that from the monthly rent along with the receipts. The problem is that the home needs a new roof which is not something easily fixed. You do have grounds for early termination of your lease. This means moving a bit early. If the new owner takes over while you are a tenant then they will assume the responsibility of your lease and would be responsible for returning your security deposit provided the property was left in reasonable condition. Michelle
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I have been living in a condo in CA for about 1 1/2 years. The original lease was extended for a second year. The current owner came to us and said he was short selling but did not feel right collecting rent so we have just been paying the hoa. He just told us the house has sold and we need to be out by May 31st. I believe that is when the new owner takes possession. I am just wondering if our lease is still valid since it lasts for another 6 months. Do we need notice from the new owner about terminating the lease and do they have that right. They only want us out because they bought the place with their own renter lined up. We have never agreed to move on completion of the short sale.

Answered by Cameron


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I have lived in a property for two years and just renew my rental least on July 1, a month later the realtor of the landlord calls letting me know that the house is for sale. Later that week I found out that the house is on a" short sale", I am worried, I have kids and me and my husband don't understand why the realtor lets us renew the lease if she knew that the house was going on sale. She told me the buyers have to honor my lease. But now I have people wanted to see the property and I feel that their invading my privacy with my family. Not only that I wonder can I end this contract and move to another property that is not going thru this situation or they can penalize me for ending the contract before time.

Answered by misty


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Hello, We are interested in submitting an offer on a short sale for a home in CA. The property has a tenant with about a year left on a 2 year lease. Assuming that we will become the new home owner, what is our obligation on the lease. Do we owe the tenant the deposit? Do we have the option to evict him so we can move in or do we have to honor the lease? I was also told that a residential lease longer than 1 year must be notarized in some states, is CA one of those. Thanks in advance for your time.

Answered by tom


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I was notified that the home I reside in, in Cali was going to be sold as a short sale via the property manager. They gave me a $200 credit to show property etc. I asked if I could purchase the prop and the yagreed. The short sale was approved last week. My question is; when do I stop paying the property manager rent and how do I get my deposit back. Since I'm dealing with a 3rd part y( property manager) and I know without a doubt the mortgage was not being paid, Im somewhat uncormfotable as to how to proceed. My lender stated escro should close in less than a month

Answered by Ms Quandry


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Ms. Q - until you close escrow, you are not the owner so technically you are still a tenant under your lease. However, you should check the purchase documents to see if there is anything in there discussing how your deposit and rent will be handled. Realistically, your odds of recovering your security deposit are low. Are you going to be able to track down the owner to sue them in small claims court? You could negotiate for an addendum to your lease that your last month rent will be abated by the amount of your security deposit and then share it with the lenders on both sides of the deal. It may require additional lender approval for both you and the seller.

Answered by Julia M. Wei, Esq.


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we were renting a house and our land lord just told us that he was going to short sale the house because it was going into forclosure he stop paying the morage on the house before we moved into the house and my lease wasn't ending until the 31st of Oct. Well we found out that the house was sold a two weeks ago and we were told that they the new owners would discuss our options. So on the 31st of Oct I got a phone call saying that if I needed to stay in the I need to pay him 1450.00 on the 4th of nov or they will need to evict us. When we asked why they waitied until my lease was up that they decided to return my call and let me know about my options and that they were not willing to pay cash for keys. I was wondering if there was anything that I can legally do or what my optionsw may be. I thought I had to have some type of notice longer then a week.

Answered by jessica


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HI Jessica, The PTFA does not apply for tenants in a short sale. If you are on a month to month agreement then the owner would need to give you the notice to vacate as outlined in your rental agreement. If you intend to stay in the property then you would need to pay rent to the new owner but they would not be able to arbitrarily increase the rent or change the rent amount. Michelle
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I just bought a house with tenants on the property. Realtor told me that tenants will move out at the day I close the escrow, and also told me that owner had given them three days notice for not paying rent. But tenants neither move out nor pay rent. I have contacted tenants and ask for when they are moving out. They said end of December 2012. So I believed and waited until 3rd week of the month. Then I sent an email that I will come to the house on 30th and look at the house and get the keys from you. Then they sent me an email that they will not be able to move out until end of Jan 2013, unless I pay then $4,000.00. Note that they are not paying any rent and they told me that they don't have any rental agreement with the previous owner. So I gave them three day notice to quit. They sent me another email telling me that they will move out as soon as they get their short sale offer approve from Bank. I guess they are buying a short sale house. So they are just giving me excuse and not moving out. So what can I do now?

Answered by Nargis


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I have been renting a condo in Chicago for 4 years. in October 2012 the owner was thinking of short selling the unit, at that time a least amount was agreed on for monthly payments between the two of us. July 2013 he decided yes, I am moving forward with the sale; and ask if i could be out in 30 days? He stated he was having problems with the Bank because he did not occupy the unit himself for 5 years. What are my rights? Do I have any?

Answered by Katina
from IL


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