My wife and I currently life in Orlando, FL and we are renting a condo conversion. We have been renting the place since Aug 06, with a lease set up between us and the private owner. We recently signed a new lease (as our old one expired) in August. Things seemed to be going ok.
2 weeks ago both my wife and I got a summons, that let us know that our landlord was being sued by the bank he financed the house through, for not paying his mortgage since July of this year…
Now I’m a younger guy and haven’t had much experience with matters such as this, I didn’t know what to do, not to mention well stressed over the matter.
I was frantically asking advice from anyone and everyone I knew. Some said keep paying your rent and just make sure there is a paper trail, others stated don’t pay it and save the rent money for the eventual move(if the house gets foreclosed they usually kick you out, or so I’m told, and its usually really really short notice, 24hours).
Eventually I spoke to a lawyer, mind you his specialty wasn’t in this area of law, but his suggestion was not to pay the rent and save it for the move.
So we didn’t pay rent and so far the landlord has not contacted us. My question is was this the right move to make and what are my obligations/risks in a situation such as this (specifically being a renter who’s home is potentially getting foreclosed)?
After the foreclosure happens, then in most states the lease is broken, meaning you have no obligation to keep paying rent and the landlord, now the bank, has no obligation to let you stay there [source: Bankrate]
If you paid a security deposit, you’re still entitled to get that back from the landlord.
Keep saving for the move, which will probably take first and last month’s rent and a security deposit. Consider pre-packing up your non-essential items. Assuming your landlord doesn’t discover a secret box full of gold coins and pays off his mortgage, you’re going to have 24-72 hours from the inevitable eviction notice to get out of Dodge.
You really need to get familiar with Florida state laws for this, though. Consider contacting your local bar association and asking for a referral to a lawyer specializing in tenant rights.
href=”http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/20071109_foreclosure_eviction_renters_a1.asp#one”>Foreclosure can leave renters homeless [Bankrate]
As Owners Feel Mortgage Pain, So Do Renters [NYT]