Can we sue her for taking our rent money and not paying the mortgage?

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Can we sue her for taking our rent money and not paying the mortgage?

Is it okay for the property manager to withhold the landlord’s information? We believe the landlord hasn’t been paying the mortgage on the house we are renting and we’ve been giving her money monthly for a year. Also, can we sue her for not fixing our heat problem, our oil burner was leaking and she refused to fix it because the landlord doesnt have any money even though i just paid her rent 2 weeks prior to it breaking?

Asked on January 27, 2013 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have 2 issues here. The first one has to do with non-payment of the mortgage. The fact is that whether or not your landlord pays their mortgage, you are still obligated to pay your rent. You are being given a place to live so still are obligated to pay for the privilege. However, once there is a foreclosure and the property is transferred out of the landlord's name, you can legally stop paying them.

As for the second issue, you have several options. You can: repair the problem yourself and deduct the cost from your rent; withhold your rent until the problem is solved; or terminate your lease. The fact is that implied in every residential lease is something know as the "implied warranty of habitability". This means that a tenant must be provided with a safe and sanitary rental premises. If not tieir landlord is in breach of the lease.

At this point you should consult with a local attorney. They can best advise as to the procedure in your state for breach of your lease under the circumstances.


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