Will my landlord be off the hook if his property is foreclosured onis foreclosed/sold before I file a suit for repairs?

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Will my landlord be off the hook if his property is foreclosured onis foreclosed/sold before I file a suit for repairs?

I have had a roof leak for 2 1/2 years and reported it that long. Bedroom ceiling has mold – popcorn is bowing. Water enters through the bathroom vent. Kitchen lights won’t work when it rains. The city inspector has issued a citation. A mold/asbestos exam was done-building constructed 1972. Landlord will not communicate at all now and will not release the report results if the problem is asbestos and mold. Inspector has said abatement needed. Landlord will not offer foreclosure/sale/auction information. I have photos of damages and letters sent. Landlord wants to fix ceiling and not the roof.

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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord would be "off the hook" on a forward looking basis--that is, you can no longer force him to pay to fix the problem if he no longer owns the property. However, you could still sue him for damages you've suffered prior to the foreclosure, including potentially for: the cost of any repairs you made; the cost of damaged personal property; an health care injuries or medical costs (e.g. from asbestos or mold); possibly for the difference (dimuntion) in value between the premises as was and the premises as it should have been without the problems. If you suffered losses, and they are worth suing over, you can sue the landlord; of course, if he's being foreclosed upon, you may be unable to collect--he may have nothing, or declare bankruptcy.


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