Can reclaim the rent that we paidifour landlord wasn’t paying his mortgage?

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Can reclaim the rent that we paidifour landlord wasn’t paying his mortgage?

Over a year ago, we were renting a home where the landlord went into foreclosure. He said he would give us our deposit back after we moved out. We moved out after the bank took over. We had learned we paid 4 months of rent when he was not paying his mortgage. The landlord still has not paid back our deposit after we have sent reminders. We are preparing to take him small claims court to get our deposit back. As far as I know, this is pretty cut and dry according to UT law. Do we also have grounds for seeking the rent that we paid when he wasn’t paying his mortgage?

Asked on December 16, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, no you cannot.  The fact that he was or was not paying his mortgage has nothing to so with your rental obligation.  You were given a place to live in.  That was all that was required of your landlord to provide.  Think about it.  Let's say that he was paying his mortgage and it had an adjustable rate.  If his mortgage payments went up, would your rent go up? Of course not because one thing has nothing to do with the other.

However, your security deposit is something else.  If your landlord did not lawfully return it as required, as you seem to be aware, you have a claim against your him for that. 


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