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Rent obligation in the face of foreclosure?

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Rent obligation in the face of foreclosure?

Postby Ray Vincent » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:56 am

My landlord received a Notice of Request for Judicial Intervention from the attorneys for his mortgage-holder as a result of long-time nonpayment of the mortgage on the house we rent from him in Brooklyn. Is there any way to approximate how long it will take before the house is auctioned off? In the meantime, since he is losing control of the property, does this affect my obligation to pay rent?
Ray Vincent
 
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Postby ronin » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:54 pm

There is the realistic possibility that you will be evicted once the LL loses their place. The fact that the LL hasn't paid any mortgage is sort of your right to withhold rent until you receive some official notice of who to pay and so that you have some move money ready. Sometimes in these situations the LL has been booted officially but keeps collecting rents, and then months later the bank shows up looking to force you to pay twice for the same months.

It is a very confusing situation.

One real positive is that the LL is keeping you informed and being honest about the situation. There is a moral obligation to help this LL because the LL is facing a dire situation. Some LLs in similar situations never give the tenant any warning and one day a marshal shows up to evict the whole house. You should be honest about wanting to set up some move money for yourself as well. I would recommend being honest with the LL right back and let him know you are nervous and want to save some of your rent for an emergency move.

On the positive side the LL might be able to stay in the house for more than a year if he plays his cards right. We did a show about that that aired recently.

All of the above is IMHO... That situation is very complicated legally and on the human level. A lot really depends on the individuals involved.
ronin
 
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Postby Ray Vincent » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:29 am

Ronin, thank you for your thoughtful response. In fact, the LL has NOT been forthcoming about anything. We happened to get a copy of the legal notices, which is how we are aware of his situation; he hasn't told us anything.

You mention "official notice of who to pay" -- from whom would this come? Obviously, the LL will maintain he is entitled to continue to receive rent payments. We have been in touch with the lawyers representing his lender, and while they asked if we could send them copies of our rent checks, they didn't say anything about sending rent to them or not paying rent to him.

Would you suggest I send the LL a letter indicating that, in view of the situation, I am withholding rent pending notice of who is entitled to receive it?

You're right the situation is confusing, especially for someone with no particular expertise in this area. Thanks again for your time and opinion.
Ray Vincent
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:40 am

Postby ronin » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:55 pm

Well, that's sad to hear. But if you are in contact with the lender and making them aware of the payments then it really is ok to pay the LL. The problem with withholding when you know he is entitled to the rent is that you might get blamed for, or otherwise drawn in to, his legal and financial mess. I would set aside a portion of each months check (until I reached $2K or $3K) to move as he may not be able to honor the full term of the lease, notify him what I was doing and why, and then continue paying him as agreed.

But you should really check this out with an attorney who does general law and foreclosure law. There might be pitfalls not yet visible to you.
ronin
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2002 2:01 am


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