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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11890
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am a tenant and live in the property for the last three years

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I am a tenant and live in the property for the last three years . My rent is over on 12/30/2013. But my ex-landlord was foreclosed three months ago. The new owner (not the bank, but individual) came to my place and asked me to vacate the property offering me one months rent free. I provided him a copy of the rental agreement with the cleared checks and deposits and denied his offer. He said that he would kick me out anyway based on unfair rental value in this area. Could be eviction ground on this argument, or the court will increase my monthly rental payment?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

After a foreclosure, the new owner must honor the lease of a tenant unless the lease is not an arms length transaction (i.e., family members of prior owner), or if the rent is not a fair market rate (i.e., sweetheart deals). In your case, it sounds like the owner is going to argue the latter ... that your rent is insubstantially below market rate and that the lease should be terminated. I can't say whether he'll be successful in that argument since it depends on an analysis of the rental market in your area and a comparison to what you pay. I'll note, however, that he'd need to prove that you pay substantially less than market rate ... not just less.

If he were to win, then your lease would be terminated and he could evict you. The court would not increase your rent.

If you think that you pay substantially less than market rate, then you may wish to take the offer or try to negotiate a better deal. For example, tell him that you need more than 30 days, but 60 days (rent free) is enough time.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I pay For my house $1600, but the fair rate is about $2500. Plus the property has no garage and no repairs.Is it substantially less?

Hi again.

So you're only paying 64% of the fair market value (i.e., 1600 is 64% of 2500). Unfortunately, I do think that the new owner would win the argument and be able to terminate your lease if this goes to court. If I were you, I would take the free rent and plan to get out, but maybe ask for an extra month as I suggested earlier.

I am truly sorry to give you this bad news, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer. I do ask that you rate me based upon whether I answered your question, and not based upon whether the answer was good news or bad news. Your positive feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
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