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If my landlord has told me he has not paid the mortgage am I required to pay my rent tohim?

I am a renter in the Puyallup area and Landlord has told me he has not paid mortgage in 2 months. Do I continue paying my rent to him? I have a signed lease good through next May but would rather move now.
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July 25 2011 - Puyallup
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Answers (12)

Your situation has become all to common.  So common that in 2009, Congress placed a protection for tenants whose rental home was foreclosed because the owner didn't pay the mortgage payments. Senate Bill 896 that is now law.  I suggest you review the it with an attorney. 

My answer to your question is based on my experience as a real estate broker in Tennessee.  It could be very different in your state so consult an attorney in your local area. 

If you don't pay your rent, the landlord can enforce the contract in court.  They can petition the court and obtain a judgement against you for amount stated in the lease agreement.

Whether or not the landlord has paid the mortgage has nothing to do with your rent payment.  If you were taken to court by the landlord, what do you think the judge would say if you said "I didn't pay because the landlord didn't pay the mortgage."  

You may have an opportunity to work with the landlord to release you from the lease.  I suggest you write a letter to the landlord asking to be released from the agreement.  If they have decided to not fight the bank to keep the property from foreclosure, they may consider releasing you because it is no skin off their back.

I hope my answer has been of assistance.

Bob
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October 28 2011
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Three months have passed since you posted Abarnby.   What happened?

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October 28 2011
Yes. Of course. You have a lease.

Suppose your landlord told you that he'd paid the lease, but used some of your payment to play the lottery. If you were opposed to gambling, could you stop paying rent? No, because you have a lease.

Suppose you walk into a nearby bakery store that's been having financial difficulties. You order a dozen donuts. But then you hear that the bakery store hasn't paid the rent in two months. Are you required to pay for the donuts? Yes. Of course.

Suppose you get a newspaper delivered every morning. But you find out that your newspaper delivery person is behind on his credit card payments because of high gas prices. Are you required to pay for your subscription. Yes. Of course.

Get the idea?

Can you terminate your lease early? Certainly . . . if your landlord agrees. You and he have a valid, binding contract.

Beyond that, see a lawyer.

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October 28 2011

The short answer is yes. There are two seperate contracts in play here. Your landlord has a contract with his/her lender, which they are likely not living up to that obligation. You have a contract with the landlord that states you will pay a monthly fee on time. I have dealt with 3 different buyers in this exact situation and it is very frustrating. You are living up to your obligation and they are not. I would advise you talk to a local real estate attorney to see what your options are. Most likely it is time to start looking for a new place to live. Depending on how long they have not been paying the mortgage it is only a matter of time until the bank forecloses. I did have a client that was able to continue renting from the bank once they foreclosed and it was less than they had been paying before. This is only a temporary solution though. A great real estate attorney in the Pierce County area is Joe Zehnder at McGavick Graves, his number is 253-627-1181.
Hope this helps and know that you are not alone. There are many tenants dealing with this issue.

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October 28 2011
Talk to an attorney, right away.
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July 26 2011
See if there are any tenant's rights organizations in your area - they may be able to help you. 
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July 26 2011
I would say yes, however, i would recommend you contact a real estate attorney, so you are aware of your legal rights. Good luck.
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July 25 2011
Yes you should keep paying your lease as agreed, otherwise you may find yourself at the wrong end of a lawsuit, and have difficulty finding landlords who will rent to you in the future.

Whether or not the bank can collect the rent directly may depend on the "assignment of rents" clause in the mortgage, the laws in your state, and what a judge decides. If you want out of the lease, ask your landlord if he will sign a mutual agreement to quit the lease. If not, you may want to consult with an attorney before proceeding. I am not a lawyer and this isn't to be taken as legal advice. Good luck to you.
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July 25 2011
I am stating this an an agent, not as a real estate lawyer, but in my experience you are bound to that lease with it being a contract between you and your landlord. The landlord is bound in an agreement with the bank in terms of a mortgage. Until your landlord is no longer the property owner you are responsible for holding up your contract. If the landlord is defaulted against, then he violates the terms of the lease agreement and you are free and clear, if the lease is written in the tenants favor, you may actually be able to have him provide you temporary housing until the lease agreement expires.
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July 25 2011
Yes, legally, but I would talk to a real estate attorney who deals with tenant's rights...
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July 25 2011

I would modify what wetdawgs had to say by saying this: ONLY if the lender takes the property through foreclosure, would you redirect payments to them.  Right now your contract is with the current owner and not the lender.  If the lender takes the property through foreclosure, Washington State law protects you as the tenant for up to 90 days after the foreclosure sale if you are in a legally binding lease and are current with it's terms.  If you are not current, they can serve you an eviction notice immediately.  AND I'll put a caveat on this saying I'm not an attorney, this should not be taken as legal advice and you should REALLY contact a real estate attorney to really know what you should, could, can do in this situation.  I have some great referrals, just drop me a line and I'll get you in contact with them.

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July 25 2011
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Yes, you still are bound to the terms of the lease.    If the lender contacts you officially and asks you to redirect payments, then you would pay the lender. 


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July 25 2011
 
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