How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask barristerinky Your Own Question
barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33796
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
barristerinky is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Well in May our landlords lost the house we were staying in

Customer Question

hello!
JA: Hello. What seems to be the problem?
Customer: Well in May our landlords lost the house we were staying in to foreclosure, while we were on a month to month lease. We were offered money by the new owner, i believe the bank to move, we also had our rights. We finally moved out around August, and found a new house, and finished cleaning up the property recently, leading to about a $3000.00 check. During the few months we were staying at the house we never got a call about sending rent or anything somewhere so we just saved money for two months or so. Today we recieved papers about money owed for back rent with a court date, including rent due for September and October, when we werent even staying there. I have no idea if the bank still thinks we are there or not, while is weird because the Realtor recently gave us our 3000.00 check for moving. My parents certainly cant afford the rent they claim we owe, especially the months we were not even there.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: New Jersey
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: No issues at all, intially it was a one year lease, than the landlords never had us sign anything for the next few years so it was just month to month, untill they lost the house to forclosure leading to a sale of the property while we were in it
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

Unfortunately, even in the case of a foreclosure, a tenant never gets to stay on the property rent free. So the rent would be owed for the months that you were there and the bank can legally hold you responsible for that.

.

As for anything else, if there was an agreement for you to move out as of a certain date, as long as you did so, then that would formally end the tenancy so you wouldn't owe any rent after that. If they have filed a lawsuit then parents will just have to dispute their claims and show proof that they had moved out in accordance with any agreement, received the agreed on money, and are not liable for Sept and Oct.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okay, I will let them know. Also with this Tenancy Summons complaint we got, can they garnish wages and levy accounts if not paid? Obviously we will contact them before the court date and try to settle and make a payment plan, but just curious?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

If they are suing for a money judgment as well as for possession, then if they get a judgment, they can get a wage garnishment against whoever is named as a defendant in the suit. And yes, once they get a judgment, and any appeal time expires, typically 20 or 30 days, then they would be able to pursue other collection efforts like levying on non retirement bank accounts to collect.

.

But historically a bank is not going to go to the time and expense of garnishing and levying unless it is a large amount simply due to the time and effort involved.

.

I am actually kind of surprised they are suing because normally they will just write it off and walk away once the tenant gives up possession as long as it hasn't been a bitter fight... Ego comes into play then..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ah yes i know, my poor parents man, trying to handle this for them. It's for around $6000.00. We left the house in great shape and everything because we aren't scumbags you know? Hopefully when we call the lawyers handling this case, and explain what is going on because I dont even think they know we are gone, which is strange, because the realty company handling the house knows we are out. We can show proof that we weren't there for Sept. and Oct. Do you think calling the lawyers, may result in that write off if we let them know we are out, and have been out?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

It isn't unusual for the attorney for the bank and the realtor to not communicate well. They really don't care about what the other is doing..

.

So it is very likely that the attorney has filed this assuming that they are still there..

.

I think that it is definitely worth trying to contact the attorney's office to let them know that parents have been gone since August and the realtor was fully aware of that as they returned the keys to him/her.

.

If they know that parents are gone, they may then contact the bank and ask if they want to proceed.. Paying the attorneys $250-400 an hour to pursue this may not be something that the bank wants to then follow up on..

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions