Do I Have to Pay Rent if My Landlord is in Foreclosure?

for rent sign

As a renter in New Jersey, you may wonder exactly what rights you have if the home you reside in happens to go into foreclosure. First and foremost, you need to know if and when you’ll need to look for a new place to live. Hopefully, the property owner (your landlord) has been forthright with you about any foreclosure on the home, along with your rights during said foreclosure.

Of course, there are many less-than-desirable landlords in New Jersey – plenty of whom only care about their bottom line. If your landlord falls into this category, s/he probably isn’t too concerned with where you and your family (if you have one) are going to stay if s/he fails to make mortgage payments on the home.

In this circumstance, you may not even find out about the foreclosure from your landlord; rather, you may read about it in the newspaper or hear about it from someone you know. It’s possible that you won’t know that the home you’re living in is in foreclosure until you see the foreclosure notice taped to the door. Some renters who do not live in the main building often never even see the notice, thereby leaving them completely in the dark until the foreclosure has occurred. If that happens to you, seek counsel immediately to get your belongings back and to sue your landlord for failure to alert you.

If, however, your landlord lets you know about the upcoming foreclosure, the question remains: Should you continue to pay rent?

It would seem that the obvious answer would be “Of course not!”

If your landlord isn’t paying the mortgage, why should you then be required to pay him rent money every month? Alas, it may not make perfect sense, but in this case, you must continue paying rent to your landlord as your lease dictates. Failure to do so could give him or her a case to evict you or sue you for the rent you didn’t pay. Furthermore, if you retain your tenancy throughout the foreclosure, new owners may allow you to continue renting from them, unless you have a history of not paying your rent.

The bottom line in this case is that you should continue to pay rent even if you discover that your landlord isn’t paying the mortgage. Keep your house in order by making timely rent payments so that your record looks good. This will ultimately make it easier for you to continue living as a tenant in New Jersey. For more information about what to do if your rental home is in foreclosure, you can read more here.

Always seek professional legal assistance in NJ if you feel that you are in danger of being evicted without cause, whether due to your landlord’s financial issues or otherwise.

 Image credit: Beatrice Murch

One Response to Do I Have to Pay Rent if My Landlord is in Foreclosure?

  1. Pingback: My Landlord’s in Foreclosure – Can I Buy the Home? | Veitengruber Law

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