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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34765
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I'm currently renting a house in California with a lease

Customer Question

Hello! I'm currently renting a house in California with a lease beginning on November 20th 2015 which is due to expire November 30th, 2016. The owner is in foreclosure, and needs to sell the house by October 15th--it will be sold, one way or another. My questions are this:
1) Do I have to pay rent once the house changes hands? If not, what should I do in order to live rent-free as long as possible?
2) What can I do get my security deposit back?
3) What should I do in order to get the current or future owners to pay me off in order to stop being troublesome?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 5 months ago.

1) Do I have to pay rent once the house changes hands? If not, what should I do in order to live rent-free as long as possible?
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Yes, to the new owner of the property. The lease would transfer to the new owner upon the closing and they would then become your landlord. If it is the bank, then you would pay it to them, if a private owner, then to them starting the next month.

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If you didn't pay the rent, then they can give you a 3 day notice to pay or vacate and then file an unlawful detainer (i.e. eviction) action in the local Superior Court to evict any occupants.

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2) What can I do get my security deposit back?
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The current owner is supposed to either refund it back to you once a sale occurs or transfer it to the new owner. I say "supposed" to because they rarely do and typically just disappear. But if they are still around, you could sue them in small claims court for the deposit if they don't refund it or provide proof that they transferred it to the new owner.

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But in most situations like this, the tenant will just not pay the last month's rent before the sale as the owner is not likely to want to spend money trying to evict the tenant if they are getting ready to lose the house in a foreclosure sale. .

3) What should I do in order to get the current or future owners to pay me off in order to stop being troublesome?

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You can try and hold out and fight a termination and eviction, and offer to voluntarily leave for $XXX. But they will be able to evict you in about a month if you stop paying rent. The only way to prolong it would be to file bankruptcy, which would put an automatic stay in place of about 3-4 months before they could get the stay released and continue on with any eviction.

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thanks

Barrister

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