In today's housing market, the tables have turned and renters may need to do a financial background check on potential landlords of a rental property.
While the mortgage mess is still forcing more homeowners into foreclosures, tenants are also taking on new risks being in these rental properties. Plenty of homes and condos are made available for renting because owners could not sell the properties but they also never intended to be landlords. These owners reluctantly lease out the properties to make the mortgage payments but with the sub-prime loans resetting and the declining property value, owners are still not able to afford the mortgage payments. The foreclosure process then starts and tenants are forced out of the properties.
Often tenants are left with little notice and in the middle of a lease, are forced to moved. Many of these tenants are not even behind on their payments and owners purposely pocketing the rent money and keeping them out of the loop on the foreclosure. The landlords and lenders are not legally obligated to inform the tenants with a timely period of the foreclosure. Lenders have the right to void the lease agreements between the landlord and the tenants once the property is in foreclosure in some states. Once the property is foreclosed on then the lenders are quickly to evict the tenants and empty the property. The lenders are usually not willing to keep tenants in a property because its easier and faster to sell an emptied property.
A lot of time these tenants are not willing or did not have enough time to find a new place, the lenders are offering a "cash for keys" incentives. This means that the tenants are offered enough money for moving costs of up to $1,000 to $2,000. But these tenants usually lose out on getting their deposit and back rent from defaulting owners. Only a few states pass a law protecting tenants from foreclosed properties. Tenants could take legal action but this can be costly with limited results.
Advice to tenants in a rental property
If you are in a rental property or getting ready to move in one, it would be wise to due some due diligence.
Due a credit check, ask for a credit report or credit reference. If the owners have a problem with this then it is a sign indicating problems.
Notice of default or sheriff sale date, usually would be posted at the front door of the property. If you do get one of these at the door then you should get involved,talk to the owner and the lender so you are aware where they are at in the process. Don't rely on the owner when they say,"Not to worry and I'll handle it."
Go online or county records office,check public records to see if payments are delinquent, if the property is already in foreclosure and when the sheriff sale date is, so you will have some time to make arrangements.
Check property tax, If the owner owes in property taxes and association dues then most likely they owe on the mortgage.
Check the foreclosure laws and the redemption periods in your area.
Some other tips, If the landlord is asking for a high amount of deposit or a couple of months rent in advance you should be leery. Also you should pay attention if people are driving by slowly, looking at the property, and taking pictures then the property most likely are being looked at by prospective buyers.
For tenants rights and information, go to http://www.yourrealestatechic.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kayla_Hoang
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PS. Renters don't trust a real estate agent or a homeowner with your money, if you work for it, let it work for you & your Family.