What can we expect to get if we sue a landlord that rented us a house that was in foreclosure?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can we expect to get if we sue a landlord that rented us a house that was in foreclosure?

We rented out a house 3 years ago and went through a rental company and signed a 12 month lease with the homeowner. A couple of months down the road we got served with papers stating the house was in foreclosure. We had no idea; we had been paying several months in rent. The landlord never confessed. I was wondering if we can go back and sue them for our deposit and months that we paid in rent and for the expense of having to move. Also, as a result of all this I lost my stable place of employment.

Asked on June 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Landlords are under a duty to disclose all material information that a tenant would want to know when considering whether to sign a lease. And a foreclosure is considered to be material. If a tenant can prove that the original landlord failed to disclose that a foreclosure was imminent or had already been filed, this amounts to fraud and the tenant can sue the landlord for monetary damages, such as the cost of moving and any increased rent they had to pay for their new rental. A tenant can also sue for the return of their security deposit. As for suing for the loss of your employment, this is a more tenuous claim and you would have a heavy burden of proof. Finally, you would not be entitled to reimbursement for the rent that you paid. Even though your landlord was not paying their mortgage it did not eliminate your obligation to pay your rent. You bargained for a place to live and that is what you got (granted just for not as long as you were supposed to).

However in order to bring a lawsuit you must do so within a certain time period called the "statute of limitations".  If the time period specified has passed, you are barred from filing. In most states for a claim of this kind the SOL is typically 2-3 years. So if you haven't already missed the deadline it is rapidly approaching; you must act ASAP.

Note:  Had all of this happened just a year later you would have had protection under federal law. With 1 exception, you would have been allowed to stay until the end of your lease.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption