Rental Basics in 91301>Question Details

patriciahonea, Renter in Agoura Hills, CA

Crazy situation here

Asked by patriciahonea, Agoura Hills, CA Fri Nov 30, 2012

I have been living in a guest house and paying rent to the "Owners". Come to find out the real owner is short selling the property. The "owners" that I have been paying rent to are tenants and haven't made a payment in 3 years and are in some sort of lawsuit with the real owner of the property.
I recently spoke with the listing agent and was told an offer was accepted by the bank and I will have to move out probably by the end of January.
I plan on moving out sooner rather than later, but do I have any rights at all?

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6
Debbie Powell’s answer
Unfortunately , I would ask if you gave a move- in deposit. and work on getting the security back if possible. Choosing your battles are of the uptmost imporatnce and with the system taking so long in the court system , I would keep that as a focus. There is also a company that you pay a minimal fee ( $20.00 per month) for legal advice and they send letters to the other party if there is legal rights . They are a good source of the law and in todays world with the ever changing laws I would consider using them for the advice. They also write letters on your behalf and they will direct accordingly. They view any legal documents needed. You can use them daily if you wish. I would also ask the listing agent for moving fees and see if this would be allowable by the bank depending on how long your residency has been.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
Thank you. I hadn't thought of asking the listing agent for moving fees.
Flag Fri Nov 30, 2012
You might GOOGLE; "tenants rights act of 2009"
It might help.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
You should direct all questions of "rights" to real estate attorneys.

However in my opinion from working with short sellers where renters are involved, the actual renter who's named on the lease could potentially have some rights depending on how their lease agreement was written & if they've been tenants for a period of 1yr or more vs. a month to month tenancy for less than 1yrs.

But you, as a tenant of the tenant, you're basically SUB-LEASING & you have no legal lease contract with the owner.

Be careful with sub-leasing in the future, I suggest you do talk to a real estate attorney or licensed property manager for any rights you would or wouldn't have under a "sub lease".

If you do go & try to rent from an actual owner, be wary of rental scams out there & google this phrase "RED FLAGS - RENTAL SCAMS - PUBLIC BEWARE" to read an article I wrote about how NOT to get suckered by a rental scammer.

Emily S. Knell
EmilyKnell1@yahoo.com
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Realty ONE Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
Hello Patricia,
Wow! I wonder if the tenants that you have been paying the rent to have the authority to be "sub-leasing" the guest house. Do you have a written lease agreement with them? If so, check your lease to see what it says if the property is sold. Lease agreements in writing and signed by all parties must be honored but only if the tenant (landlord) has the authority to be sub-leasing the property.

And, it is best to consult a real estate attorney in this matter as it is a legal one so is best answered by them.

Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
Sorry for your situation and good luck, Patricia!
Flag Fri Nov 30, 2012
Thank you,

We had a lease with them, but according to the sellers attorney they had no authority to sub-lease.
I will contact a real estate atorney, thank you,
Flag Fri Nov 30, 2012
It's been six months; I hope you landed on your feet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 18, 2013
You need to speak with an attorney or legal aide, because you do have certain rights. The listing agent does not represent you and surely wants the short sale to go through smoothly so the property can be delivered vacant to the buyer. Regardless of how you came to have possession of the guest house, you cannot just be thrown out on short notice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 18, 2013
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