Does a tenant need to pay rent if the house is going into foreclosure?

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2010

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Does a tenant need to pay rent if the house is going into foreclosure?

We are currently renting a property and have been doing so for the last 2 1/2 years. We recently have been notified that the property is up for sheriffs sale. Once we found out, we stopped paying rent. We have no lease and never signed one. The landlord is now taking us to court to trying to get the money.

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Until the house is actually foreclosed on--that is, until such time as the lender takes possesion and the landlord is no longer the owner--you have to pay rent. That's because up until the very moment the foreclosure is accomplished, the landlord is the owner, has a right to possession, and therefore is still your landlord. If you do not pay the landlord simply because he is being foreclosed on or may be foreclosed on, you are in breach of the lease. The landlord may sue you for the rent, take it out of your security deposit, and/or evict you.

Once the foreclosure happens, you no longer need to pay the landlord, since at that point, he'll have no legal right to the home. However, unless you work something out with the new owner, he, she or it will in good order be able to evict you from the premises.

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 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.

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