Foreclosure in 98109>Question Details

Jayh3, Renter in Seattle, WA

The owner of my condo appears to be letting it go into a trust sale, After this date should I stop paying rent? I would like to use up my deposit too.

Asked by Jayh3, Seattle, WA Sun Jul 10, 2011

I would like to stop rent on the first of August as my $1000 deposit would more than cover 20 day before the trust sale???
Desperate in Seattle.

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Sorry about the grammar.
To clarify, until the lessor is "not " the legal owner of the property, it's my opinion you need to pay the rent as agreed, what you may know about the lessor is not worth any weight in a court room. Until you are notified of new legal owners, you can put your credit in jeopardy if you don't pay as agreed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 12, 2011
I agree the question is"typically" answered better by a lawyer, but there are other people that can answer the questions just like a good lawyer may. The "lp" may have good advice, but there are a few simple facts that should not be ignored. If you entered into a legal agreement abide it. Good luck whatever you decided.

My brother and I started investing in apartments buildings over 20 years ago. We currently own 14 apartment buildings and 1 shopping center by trading up by way of 1031 exchanges. I have never seen a situation where a judge favors breaking leases due to owners loosing the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 12, 2011
That's a great question. I don't mean any disrespect to the posters below, but this is a legal question that should be answered by an attorney, not a real estate agent.

There's no way I'm going to even try to answer here because its complicated and yes you face potential liability depending on your course of conduct. But that potential MAY be very low and MIGHT outweigh the benefit to be obtained by accepting that risk and acting accordingly.

I suggest you make an appointment with the King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Clinic (google it) which will get you 30 minutes for free with a licensed attorney. Alternatively, you can give me a call and if you're willing to pay me for my time -- its all I have to sell in order to make a living -- then I can explain your options. In any event, good luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 12, 2011
The deposit should never be considered as rent, unless otherwise agreed in writing. Sorry!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
Sorry to hear about your situation; today real estate is all over the place. I feel the lawful thing to do is pay rent until the land lord is not the legal owner. You should be notified if there is a new owner such as the bank.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
You need to be in contact with the owner. If they are indeed losing the condo to foreclosure, you will typically have a hard time after that getting your last month and deposit back. If they are able to save it from foreclosure, everything in your rental contract remains in full force, and you do not want to put yourself in a default situation. If they lose it to foreclosure, you no longer owe them any rent because they do not own the property any more.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011

Regardless of what is happening with ownership, as a renter, you have an obligation and responsibility to maintain your rent until you are notified otherwise. To assume you no longer have this responsibility may only serve to open you to future litigation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
It sounds like you are aware of a trustee sale "date", which may or may not be changed to a later date.
Speak with your landlord & try to negotiate a win/win and asked if when the sale date is slated for the property. It's costly to move and you want to know where you stand. There are rules for landlord tenants on this link. I hope your landlord is open and honest with you.

In addition; the condo may not sell, then the condo will go back to the bank. You will be notified after the sale on moving. Again, you are a renter and there are different rules for the renter time-line to stay in the condo--do you have a lease or a month to month?

Good Luck,

Linda Connors/Coldwell Banker Danforth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
You can find answers to a lot of your questions in the Seattle Landlord - Tenant Laws. This can be obtained from King or Seattle city websites. Also, Washington has a Tenant Union that advocates for renters.

I'm not an attorney and maybe you should consult with one but I believe that you have 90 days to vacate the premises from the time the trustee sale happens. I'm not sure if you are paying rent in those 90 days or not. Again, not an attorney. As for your security deposit, technically the owner should transfer that money to the new owners and the new owners should inform you where it's being held. Did you have a move in inspection? If not, you are due a full return no matter what. Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
You have rights as a tenant, but obligations too. I've attached a link that deals with a newer law that may be useful. It's also important to know that auction dates get postponed and rescheduled often, for various reasons. While this is no guarantee it won't happen, your plans could meet with complications if you don't live up to your lease and he still owns the home.
Discuss your situation with the landlord; ask him if he's considered a short sale or other options which may be available to him both for your benefit and his.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
You need to continue to pay rent as long as your landlord is in legal possession of the property - regardless of whether they are paying their mortgage. It's the law. Anything else is defaulting on your lease (which is legally binding contract) and leaves you open to eviction and an unsightly stain on your rental record (called an unlawful detainer).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
You should call your landlord and ask him what is going on and what he wants you to do. You still have a lease and regardless of what he is doing, you are obligated under it's terms. Don't get dragged into his mess. Ask if you can be released from the lease and move out.

If you or someone you know would like help with Real Estate, please give me a call.

Brett Frosaker
Columbia Real Estate Group
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
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