I have been in escrow to buy the home I have been living in for almost three years. It is a short sale it would of been foreclosed on in december but

Asked by Jason, California Thu Jan 21, 2010

since I submitted an offer in september it has been in a state of lingo where it wont foreclose because of my offer meanwhile my landlords continue to say they are entitled to rent, even though they still don't pay the mortgage they gave me a 3 day pay or quit notice for last months rent witch I didn't pay because escrow was going to be final but is not due to the bank. Is there a new law that protects tenants from landlords doing this and or laws that protect me while in escrow.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Scott Godzyk’s answer
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue Nov 16, 2010
Jason 3 years is way out of whack... do you have someone negotiating on your behalf, a short sale can take a while but 6 months is usually the limit whether this will go or not go. If you have a lease, you are suppose dto be paying rent, now i have heard people who have withheld their rent and gone to court more than happy to tel the judge they were paying rent but the landlord was not paying the mortgage, just as you have the responsibility to pay your rent, the owner has a responsibility to pay his mortgage, they put the money aside in case the judge ruled against them, i havent heard how they made out as the judge was mailing his ruling within 30 days but you may want to ask a lawyer so you can protect yourself and your rights.

As far as the short sale you will want to get some things in writing immediately, if you do move out, your short sale may be dead before arrival. You need to talk to your agent and teh person negotiating the short sale for some answers, 3 years is extremely abnormal

please see my blog for advice and tiups on short sales
0 votes
Monique and…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hello Jason,

I believe that they are still entitled to rent until you own it. They could evict you for non-payment of the rent. I had an escrow recently with the buyer being a tenant and the owner collected rent and didn't pay the mortgage. My recomendation is that you pay the rent until you own it as long as the owner still owns it and not the bank. For the last month of the escrow once you are sure it's going to close you might discuss with your agent paying a partial payment of rent (pro-rated for the days you are going to own vs rent). Also, is your deposit being given by the seller to you in escrow? You might want to address this if the seller has lost or spent your deposit. This should be transferred in escrow and if the seller doesn't have it then perhaps your money you are paying for rent could go back to you. It's hard to give advice not knowing the specifics so please bring these questions/concerns up with your agent.


Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
Web Reference:  http://www.thecarrabba.com
0 votes
Bonnie Sterl…, Agent, Simi Valley, CA
Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hi Jason, This is a so messy and I will be curious to see how it works out for you. Yes, you can be required to pay rent because the property is the landlords until it isnt. I hope that you are not also related to the homeowner/landlord because short sale approvals require an "at arms legnth" agreement from most lender prior to approval. September is a really long time, more than typical, are you sure you are sitll the buyer in first position. Are you sure the landlord has not qualified for a mortgage modification?
If you are being represented by a Realtor, you could go to them for some assistance, depending on what the answers are to some of these questions. It sounds like you need legal advice. Realtors who are members of California Association of Realtors have access to a hotline to help with understanding rights under the law and contracts. They wont represent you but the information they provide can be helpful. Good luck and post again with updates.
0 votes
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Thu Jan 21, 2010
Jason you don't pay you can't stay. There is a new law that protects tenants after the lender regains the property at trust sale. One of the conditions is you need to prove at that your rent is current and you are not part of the problem the old owner had.
0 votes
Gerard Dunn, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Thu Jan 21, 2010
If you have a lease with your landlord that is valid and in place - you are still required to pay rent.

You can plead your case in landlord tenant court - and let the judge make the determination as to what you must do. You may consider (Upon legal consul advice) to hold your rent due in escrow until a judge determines the best practice.

Let us know what the judge says!
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more