If our rental is being auctioned off due to foreclosure, dowe still have to pay the landlord rent?

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If our rental is being auctioned off due to foreclosure, dowe still have to pay the landlord rent?

We have a month-to-month lease with our landlord. In 10 days the house that we have been living in for more then a year now is being auctioned off due to foreclosure. We have paid him for this month already. He is telling us from the date of the auction we have 60 days before we are forced to leave and he says that we still have to pay him rent for next month and the month after. If he isn’t the owner of the house after the auction anymore why do we still have to pay him rent? And if we don’t pay him can he sue us for those 2 months?

Asked on July 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are absolutely correct. Typically, after the sale/auction date the landlord will no longer be the legal owner of the property. After that date the tenant owes no financial obligation to their landlord. If fact, in your case, he owes you your security deposit (if you paid one). Additionally, your owed approximately 1/2 of the rent already paid to the end of the month. Although in such a case you may have to sue your landlord if you ever expect to see this money (even then you may have trouble collecting if he is having such severe money troubles). Frankly what your landlord is trying to pull is quite common. Don't be fooled. However, make sure of the date of the auction and the date of actual legal transfer of title (they are not always the same). This is when he no longer has the right to the property or any rent therefrom (check with the lender who is foreclosing).

As for the 60 days, that too is incorrect information. Under federal law a month-to-month tenant has up to 90 days before they must vacate the premises.


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