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MIAMILAW1127
MIAMILAW1127, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 755
Experience:  Founding Partner at Moises Law, P.A.
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My rental house was threatened with foreclosure property

Customer Question

My rental house was threatened with foreclosure for unpaid property taxes. We had no way to pay rent and now 2 months behind since we were leery to pay while this was happening. Rental company handling rental changed. They wanted us to pay saying owner was going to pay property taxes with our rent. They also wanted us to sign new lease. When we balked, they served us with "Demand for Possession for nonpayment of rent". We're located in Detroit, MI.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My rental house was threatened with foreclosure for unpaid property taxes. We had no way to pay rent and now 2 months behind since we were leery to pay while this was happening. Rental company handling rental changed. They wanted us to pay saying owner was going to pay property taxes with our rent. They also wanted us to sign new lease. When we balked, they served us with "Demand for Possession for nonpayment of rent
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

You are not required to sign a new lease. You cannot be removed from the property for not agreeing to sign a new lease.

However, you do have to continue to pay your rent, even if the property is in foreclosure as long as you have a written lease. If you stop paying your rent, the landlord could evict you (which is what they are attempting to do here). Up until the point that the property is sold and changes owners, you are responsible for paying rent to the record owner of the property that you have the lease agreement with.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Even if the lease is with a company that no longer exists?
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Is the company that no longer exists a property management company?

The best course of action is for you to confirm that this property management company is working for the owner of the property and that by paying them the money is going to the owner. It's possible that the owner may have changed property management companies.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are saying they are property management company. This where it gets murky on their side. Some of employees are the same but different company name(different property management company). We had no contact with them for over month(their phone was disconnected) and had problem with furnace. Now we have water intrusion on basement(have for over 1 year) but nothing been done. As well as other issues that have not been taken care of.
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

You need to make sure that they are collecting rent on behalf of the owner. Ask them for proof.

If not, when they bring the eviction proceeding, let the judge know about the issues you are having and offer to pay the rent into the court registry pending determination of the issues at hand.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We no longer feel the house is worth the rent monies we've been paying(with all the issues and them not being fixed). When we told them we wouldn't sign lease except at reduced rate, they starting trying to evict us. They changed Management Company in September/October which why we didn't pay since we couldn't at first(bank account closed for old management company).
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

When does your original lease end?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
May 2016
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

You are required to pay rent until then. If you don't, you will be in breach of the lease and can be evicted. You are under no obligation to renew the lease after that point.

If you don't feel the property is worth what you are paying in rent, you can try to negotiate a way out of the lease with the owner to see if they will let you out of the lease early without penalizing you.

They are not evicting you because you will not sign a new lease. They are evicting you for not paying the rent. You need to start paying the rent again, work out a deal with the landlord, or you will be evicted.

Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Make sure that the property management company is working for the landlord so that you don't pay the rent to the wrong person.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about all the issues with the house? Furnace, Water Intrusion in basement, clog up line in basement to let water out(which we were not advised). etc. Do we have any recourse there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, I get that we have to pay but how can lease still be valid if the company that we signed with no longer exists or handling the property?
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

You can sue the landlord for those issues if they do not address them. If the issues get really bad, to the point that the property becomes unlivable, you can claim constructive eviction. Otherwise, you cannot withhold rent due to these issues.

The company is simply a property management company that manages the property on behalf of the landlord. You did not sign the lease with them. They just service the property. You still owe the rent to the landlord regardless of the change in property management companies.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Even if payee is changing? Sorry but not understanding. Seems that actual landlord is changing. Said there was falling out with one of the partners of the company.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We did not sign lease with a person but the realty company. Now they want us to sign new lease with another realty company.
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

No. The landlord is staying the same. The payee is changing because the property management company handles all aspects of the rental and just mails a check to the landlord every month so the landlord doesn't have to worry about it.

Maybe the new property management company will be more likely to address your concerns with the condition of the property.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Same people. Just new company name. Why I'm thinking there's something not quite right being done here. Same lady we've always dealt with.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In fact, they are right next door to "old" company.
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Just make sure to do your due diligence before paying, but you do have to pay the rent, especially if they bring an eviction action against you.

They wouldn't go through the motions if they couldn't rightfully evict you.