Can a landlord keep on charging rent if he stop paying his mortgage?

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Can a landlord keep on charging rent if he stop paying his mortgage?

The landlord has 2 people renting a room in his apartment (where he also lives). He decided to stop paying the bank as they were giving him the runaround in regards to refinancing (he did not inform the renters about this). After 6 months he decided to short sell the place, and then he told the renters about the situation. They then canceled their lease. Was it illegal for the landlord to not disclose that he was not paying the bank?

Asked on March 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The tenants probably didn't have the right to cancel their lease because of this.  Absent a lease provision to the contrary, they should have kept paying rent.  The fact that their landlord was or was not paying his mortgage had nothing to so with their rental obligation.  One thing has nothing to do with the other.  For example, say his mortgage had an adjustable rate.  If his mortgage payments were adjusted up, would that mean that the tenant's rent would go up? Of course not.  The fact is that the landlord gave them a habitable place in which to live in.  That was all that was required of the landlord to provide.  In turn the tenats obligation was paying for their rental.   


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