But, for now, you technically have to pay rent to the landlord except if you get a notice from the bank to pay them based on a clause that that is in his mortgage.
But also see if the owner is doing a short pay or short sale. Most of the banks if you choose to move or given a help to renter so they are able to move during this period.
Gail Mercedes Cole
I have Good News & Bad News for you.
Bad news first: You MAY have to move out. Question remains as to when. The owner hopefully will have a Realtor experienced in doing Short Sales, list the duplex for sale soon. You are still technically obligated to pay your normal rent under the terms of your lease agreement. HOWEVER, you may be able to negotiate a discounted rent or maybe even get a FREE month of rent (basically to help you to save for a the security deposit on your next place)
You see, the bank whom the owner will be "shorting" in the Short Sale, is going to frown upon the owner for still collecting rents & not paying his mortgage. In the bank's mind, they say "So, Mr. Owner, you've been collecting all this rent have you?, well, where the heck is it going, because we're not gettin' any of it?!?!" It is not Illegal for the owner to continue to keep collecting rent, it just doesn't really help his case of serious financial hardship to be approved for a short sale. (actually nowadays the owner doesn't even have to have a true financial hardship to short sell their property, it's more of an economic decision to get off of a sinking ship)
So, your Good News: Try to find out if the owner is working with a Realtor yet, like I said before, if the Realtor is experienced in doing short sales, he/she should be telling the owner to Give the tenant(s) a discounted rent, so you'll go along with your unit being shown to possible buyers, OR offer you a FREE month of rent for the month you'll be shopping around for a new place to rent,,,, (there's 1 more possible scenario) --- maybe the new buyer will want to keep you on as a renter & you won't be moving at all.
Let me know if you'd like me to check & see if your duplex is already listed. You may not know that it is, oftentimes on duplexes or other multi family units, the tenants don't know the place is for sale. We have a Private Remarks section in our MLS & sometimes it will say "tenants unaware of sale, drive by & write offers Subject to Inspection".
I also agree that you must continue to pay rent. I'm also pretty sure that it's illegal for the landlord to continue to collect rent if they are not paying the mortgage. Two wrongs don't make a right but you might want to seek some free legal advice in regards to what your options are.
I do have a question for you. Have you been saving money and getting ready to buy yourself? This is a great time to buy but obviously only if you're ready. If you want to know more about becoming a home buyer and what you need please feel free to call me or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mario Villagran, MBA, Realtor