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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I moved into my present rental home in August 2014. Renewed

Customer Question

I moved into my present rental home in August 2014.
Renewed my lease in August 2015.
September of 2015, the home owners took over management of their property.
Was informed by property management company, the lease still has to be honored until the end of the leasing period.
Management company advised that homeowners were in possible foreclosure of the property.
Owners denied this, and sent mortgage receipts via text message.
Owners drafted new lease to be signed, lowering rent.
Before new lease was signed, due date was changed to 15th of the month, 5 day grace period, in request by me, and agreed upon by the owner.Recently, (past 3 months) owner has become harassing in getting the rent ON the 15th, and not allowing the 5 day grace period, using such threats as eviction and demeaning language.I provided 30 days notice to vacate, not wanting to be harassed any further.
Owner then sent text message advising that the rent needs to be paid by the 1st as the home is in foreclosure.My dilemma...1. I am not prepared to move as I anticipated having paid them rent not knowing about foreclosure. Can no longer afford to pay them rent, and still not have a place to stay (due to their foreclosure).
2. Owners lied that they were not in the foreclosure process just to get us to sign a new lease with them. What are my rights as a tenant?
3. Should I rescind the 30 days notice to vacate, and in this time, can rent be withheld until proof can be furnished the house is in good standing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.


This is Samuel. You have a lease and if rent is due on the 15th with 5 days grace before any late charge, then I suggest you continue to pay the way the lease provides.

If you want to move out, then you can give the Notice to Vacate as you have. If you want to stay, then I suggest you can put the rent into an escrow account and give the LL that Notice that the rent is in escrow until they can provide information that the rental is secure. Put it all in writing and mail it certified with a return receipt requested.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Sam. One last question, is there any legal statute in the state of Tennessee that protects me keeping the rent in escrow? And would a mortgage statement furnish as proof that the house is in good standing?
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

A letter from the bank may be enough. Of course, they don't have to supply you anything. You can make the request, but you have no right to their personal financial information. They can tell you to pound sand.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

The only statute will be one where you can hold rent due to the premises being inhabitable. And so there is no law that mandates they must provide you with any personal information.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

The only right you have is to pay your rent according to your lease. If the property is in foreclosure, generally you have time to prepare before the lender will evict. Foreclosures are a process.