does a tenent have the right to withold rent if the property in process of a short sale. if landlord is withholding payments to the mortgage company?

Items left on the property by the landlord not included in the rental agreement, can the landlord take tenent to small claims for property lost?

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are liable under the terms of your lease - period.  Your landlord's situation with his mortgagor has nothing to do with your obligations to him.  If you don't pay your rent you can be evicted and held liable for the remainder of the rent through the end of your lease term.  Since an eviction will probably happen before the sale, you could find yourself without a place to live. 

As for the landlord leaving property, without more details it's hard to say; however, someone can sue in small claims for just about anything.  They may not win but a suit can be filed.  If you don't show up he can get a default judgement against you. 

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