What are my rights against a landlord who rented to me knowing that their property was in foreclosure?

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What are my rights against a landlord who rented to me knowing that their property was in foreclosure?

Can I sue a landlord if his house was in foreclosure and he knew and I was paying him rent. I just found out. Can I get my money back the months that I paid?

Asked on September 23, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You say "in foreclosure"--has it been foreclosed yet? If not, if the landlord is still the owner even if a foreclosure proceeding is threatened or has been brought, then you could not get back the rent you've already paid, since you paid rent to the owner--the legitimate landlord--for use or possession of the premises. If the property was foreclosed and the person you paid the rent to was not the owner at the time you paid it, that's a different story--you should be able to recover it from him under several possible theories (e.g. fraud; unjust enrichment).

Regardless of the above, if the landlord knew the property would be foreclosed at the time he leased it to you and withheld that information, you'd have a good case for rescinding the lease and geting out of it on the theory of either fraud or mistake. However again, if he actually was the owner during time you stayed in the premises, no matter what you do going forward, you owe him rent for the time you actually stayed in his premises.


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