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barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37846
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I recently purchased a home in a short sell. I was renting

Customer Question

I recently purchased a home in a short sell. I was renting for close to five years from the seller. Towards the close of escrow, Iit was uncertain when the property would record, so I stopped paying rent. I was told that the first and the second in the property had released the owner of all liability, so I was under the assumption he was just pocketing the rent and not paying the mortgage any longer. I purchased the home two months ago and it is recorded in my name. The landlord wants to sue me for the last month and a half of rent prior to closing at escrow and recording at title. Is this possible to be sued for past rent? Do I have any legal grounds? I rented his home with no deposit or first month's rent. It was a favor because he was leaving and needed a renter so I was suggested. Am I legally liable for any past rent even though I own the house now?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 years ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.


Unfortunately yes, he can hold you liable for any unpaid rent under a breach of contract suit. The situation between the seller and his lenders doesn't affect your contractual duty to pay rent as long as you are living there. So whether he was paying the mortgage or pocketing it, it isn't legally relevant to your contract as a tenant with the landlord.


The statute of limitations for a breach of oral contract is 2 years in CA, 4 for a written contract. So to be very honest if you didn't pay the rent, if he sued, he will win.


I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...