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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 55607
Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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My business lease (Florida) ended 11/30/2011. My landlord was

Resolved Question:

My business lease (Florida) ended 11/30/2011. My landlord was in foreclosure and I had been sending rent checks directly to the bank for several months. Due to the economy, I needed a rent reduction with the new lease. The bank refused to give me a new lease and would only keep the current lease (no reduction) in force on a month to month basis despite me telling them I would not pay it. My assumption was (right or wrong) that with either a partial payment or no payment, I was still in default and I would rather be in default with more money in my pocket. I also hoped it would push the bank to negotiate.

The building is currently in the process of being sold and the new landlord called and told me that I owed him the back rent and this was standard real estate law/procedure. He called several days later and said he needed my old lease and a new estoppel letter because the bank was selling the building "as is" and would not give him the estopple I signed for them or any other info.

So, my questions are: Is it really standard that my debt is transferred to him, especially given that he said the sale is "as is"? And if I paid him, what protects me from the bank coming back and saying I owe them? I am also concerned about the last month rent and security I paid the prior landlord. I do have that in writing, although it was not mentioned in my last one year lease, it was listed in the multi year lease before that. I have been at the property for 14 yrs.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.

Good afternoon. I have responded below in bold, underlined, italicized text.

 

So, my questions are: Is it really standard that my debt is transferred to him, especially given that he said the sale is "as is"? Your month to month tenancy passes, but not rent due prior to the new owner's ownership. That remains with the prior owner. And if I paid him, what protects me from the bank coming back and saying I owe them? That's why you don't want to pay the new owner...because it's not debt that is due the new owner; in order for the new owner to be entitled to collect, you would want to demand to see both an assignment agreement whereby the old owner transfers that debt to the new owner and a release from the old owner releasing you from any obligation to the old owner. I am also concerned about the last month rent and security I paid the prior landlord. I do have that in writing, although it was not mentioned in my last one year lease, it was listed in the multi year lease before that. I have been at the property for 14 yrs. The security deposit should have been transferred because it goes with the tenancy. And, you don't want to sign any estoppel letter that does not specifically reference your security deposit.

 

 

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