If the landlord of the home I am currently renting has received a judgement entry and decree of foreclosure, at this point who do I pay rent to and when do I need to leave the home?

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If the landlord of the home I am currently renting has received a judgement entry and decree of foreclosure, at this point who do I pay rent to and when do I need to leave the home?

Asked on August 29, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Federal law gives rights and protection to a tenant in the event that their rental unit is foreclosed on. Tenants who have a written lease can continue to occupy the home until the end of their lease, or 90 days, whichever is longer. The exception would be if the new owner intends to move in and occupy the home as their primary residence. In that case, a 90 day notice to move applies. Tenants with a month-to-month lease, or no lease at all, have to be given at least 90 days notice to move. Further, in cases where state law provides more protection than the federal law, the state law controls.
However, even if a foreclosure action has been filed, as long as the landlord remains the owner of record that is still on the title to the property, the tenant must continue paying rent to them. Consequently, a tenant must be careful to find out just when title to the property passes. Former landlords have been known to continue to collect rent even after they no longer own the property. As a lawful occupant of a property, a tenant should be notified by the mortgage lender as to the sale/transfer date of the property. After that, the landlord will no longer be the legal owner. A tenant should then be informed where to send their rental payments by the new owner.
Note Regarding the return of the security deposit when a property is foreclosed on, typically, a tenant&rsquos only legal recourse is to sue the landlord in small claims court and hope that they can successfully collect on the the judgment.


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