Do I have to pay a third party management company rent during a foreclosure?

I am a tenant, my apartment is being foreclosed upon and the original landlord has skipped town and washed his hands of the whole ordeal. A third party management company has stepped in with a court order to collect rent. However they tell me they have no idea where my security deposit is. I want to move out as soon as possible. The company has tried turning off the water twice. I don’t even want to stay for the duration of my lease. My question is will i be sued by this company for back rent and will they have a case? It seems to me that my lease was already broken when they lost my deposit.

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Losing the security deposit is not the sort of breach of lease or contract which entitles you to not pay rent--though you would have grounds to sue to recover the security deposit (if you do, sue the new management company and the old landlord both).

If you do not pay rent, you can be evicted for nonpayment and potentially sued for the amounts you do not pay--the managment company, according to the question, has the right to collect rent per a court order.

Turning off your water, however, is illegal; if they want you out, they have to evict you through the courts for a valid cause. You could potentially sue them for attempted illegal eviction; or if sued by them (such as to evict or for money) interpose their wrongful act as a defense. It would not be a perfect defense, but would likely reduce the amount they could lawfully seek from you.


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