What legal action can be taken against a landlord who is taking rent but not paying the mortgage?

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What legal action can be taken against a landlord who is taking rent but not paying the mortgage?

Asked on August 25, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you probably can't take any action. The landlord does not owe a duty to you, the tenant, to pay the mortgage. As long as he still owns the property, you need to honor your own lease obligations, chief among them paying the rent. If the property is foreclosed upon and sold, so that he no longer owns it, at that point you would not owe him any more rent (since he no longer has possession of the property to confer to you) and would have to either strike a deal with the new owner or leave--though laws designed to protect tenants in those situations would likely give you several months. However, until that happens, you need to be concerned with your obligations to the landlord, and can enforce his obligations to you (i.e. lease terms); however, whehther he pays the bank or not, even it ends up affect you, is no more your legal concern than if he doesn't maintain insurance, or quits his day job so that even with your rent, he cannot meet his mortgage obligations.


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