What to do if our landlord filed for bankruptcy and the house we live in is now in possession of the bank/trustee?

UPDATED: Nov 20, 2013

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What to do if our landlord filed for bankruptcy and the house we live in is now in possession of the bank/trustee?

Our lease ended at the same time the prior landlord lost the house and we asked the broker for a new lease, who we should pay rent to, etc. The broker told us the trustee didn’t want to deal with a new lease agreement and therefore we didn’t have to pay rent to anyone. Now the trustee wants us to sign a lease and is asking for back rent. Can he legally collect back rent if there was no lease?

Asked on November 20, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


Terence Fenelon / Law Offices of Terence Fenelon

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The trustee steps into the shoes of the debtor, your previous landlord.  In the absence of a lease, you may be evicted.  Additionally, most leases include a hold-over provision which increases the amount of rent in the event a new lease is not entered into.  Thus, the trustee could file an action for the past due rent.   You got very bad advice from the broker.

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