What are my rights as a tenant when my landlord files for bankruptcy?

Should I continue to pay rent and to who? If I pay the rent I can’t afford to move as I did not pay a security deposit when I moved in. I was renting with the option to buy (on a land contract) but the landlord has an ARM on the house he can’t afford to pay. He has tried to refinance without any success. I have 4 kids and a grandchild who live with me.

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Has your landlord filed for bankruptcy yet or are you anticipating that he may? Has he defaulted and is he in foreclosure?  What is the most important aspect of your question is your option to buy.  Is that a written contract I hope?  Is it signed by all parties and dated to when you moved in?  That is what you have to focus on at this point along with the immediate worries you have of shelter.  Generally you continue to pay rent to your landlord unless you are notified by someone who has stepped in legally to the situation, like a Trustee in Bankruptcy or a Receiver in a Foreclosure proceeding.  But get receipts.  And if I were you I would seek legal help as soon as you can as to the rent with the option to buy contract.  And have your landlord get help with a loan modification.  In these times there are state agencies - look at the attorney general's website - that will help those in financial need in our economy.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.