newhomeseekerNovember 20, 2009

My sister lives in a rental house. Her landlord owns several properties. Including the house next door. On Monday, the tenants who live next door showed my sister a foreclosure notice that was delivered to their house. They have only lived there for 3 months and have a year lease. My sister and BIL have 4 months left on their lease and were planning to sign a year lease at the end. My sister did some searching in court and property records and found out the landlord has not paid any property taxes on her homes for two years- EXCEPT get this, the home that just went into foreclosure, the taxes are paid in full on that one. the landlord hasn't even paid any taxes on her OWN home. My sister did find the foreclosure court case regarding the house next door to her and it just began last week. The tenants say they have no idea how long they have to get out (the landlord hasn't talked to them about it) My sister is concerned that she is next to receive a foreclosure or sheriff sale notice (if the taxes aren't paid) on the house she is renting. She has looked online but can't find anywhere that says how long she would have to vacate the premises after foreclosure has started. Does she have any legal recourse regarding the landlord termninating their lease without notice if the house goes into foreclosure (the landlord would obviously know ahead of time before the notice was served and could have warned her tenants so they could find another suitable place. My sister has a daughter in school and the school district is very small (for elementary) so it would be difficult to find another rental in that area (it was difficult for her to find this one, also that is big enough for her family and that allows a large dog) so she needs plenty of lead time to find another place. However, she can't commit to anything unless she is released from her lease early. The landlord won't return her calls. does anyone know how long (if they are served a foreclosure notice like the neighbor) they have to move out? She lives in Ohio

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I googled rented foreclosures in Ohio and it appears that new legislation was introduced this spring that would allow renters a longer time (maybe 30 days?) to vacate a foreclosed property. From what I read, the standard is 3 days after the foreclosure is final.

Unfortunately, I could find nothing that indicated whether or not the bill had passed. This is perhaps something she could check with the state or local government.

Foreclosures are usually for non-payment of the mortgage, not non-payment of taxes. Most tax payment problems get a lien on the house, not a foreclosure.

Given the situation, I don't think she should plan on staying where she is for another year, especially since she can't contact her landlord. She should start looking for a new place now. What is the penalty for breaking her lease? What would it cost to put the family up in a hotel/motel (if they can find one that accepts dogs) for the time it would take to find a new rental? Your sister needs to weigh the costs of staying where she is and possibly getting evicted and having 3 days to find a new place vs. finding a new place and breaking the lease. It's a choice she is going to have to make.

Changing schools is not the end of the world for a kid, unless there is a need to remain in that school district, such as Special Ed.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 12:49PM
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The house is in foreclosure for non payment of the mortgage, not the taxes as the taxes are paid in full. (I was just pointing out that the house my sister is staying in (NOT the one in foreclosure) is not current on the property taxes. My sister did call the auditor's office and they told her they usually do not foreclose (and yes they used the word foreclosure and not sheriff's sale) until the property owner is delinquent for 2 years. They said the owner has about three months left before that time frame. From what I read online, if I understood it correctly, they have until the bank sells the house and the foreclosure is final. According to her lease, if they leave early and break the lease they still owe the remainder of the rent they were to pay unless the landlord finds a new tenant. So either they stay there and pay rent until they are told to leave (if it comes to that) or they move out and still owe the same amount of rent for the remaining months. And if they move out they don't get their deposit back. THey could choose to not pay but the landlord would take them to court (and probably win since they have a lease they signed) and she has taken others to court for non payment of rent and won. Again, their rental home isnt' the one currently in foreclosure, it is the home next door that is also owned by their landlord. But if the owner isn't paying the mortgage on THAT home and isn't paying property taxes on my sister's rental or even the landlord's OWN personal home what are the chances she is paying the mortgage on the rental my sister lives in?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 1:30PM
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I think it would be worth the money for your sister to consult a lawyer to see what her options are in this case. The lawyer would be aware if the time to vacate is still 3 days or has been expanded to 30. Also the lawyer could tell her at what stage in the foreclosure proceedings she can abandon the lease without needing to pay the rent. For 100 dollars or so, your sister could purchase valuable peace of mind and gain the information needed to make the best choice for her family.

I sympathize with her and her family. They are in a tough place. But they have some foreknowledge that they may have to move within the next three or four months and they will need to use that time wisely--finding out what their options are, looking for a new place to live, etc. There is no easy answer to this situation. Your sister needs to get as much information from reliable sources as possible so that she can make the best decision possible. She really, really, needs to consult with someone familiar with Ohio real estate, rental and foreclosure laws.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 2:21PM
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I believe they are starting to look for a new place just in case. But as far as consulting with a lawyer, she called two and both wanted a retainer before they'd even talk to her (ranged from $200 to $500) and then they charge by the hour. I don't think they have that kind of extra money to spend on something like that right now.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 3:44PM
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She might be able to find out that information by asking someone at the Registry of Deeds. She could phrase it in a general, "By the you know the usual amount of time a tenant has to vacate?" inquiry. They can't give you legal advice, so they may be hesitant to even say anything but it doesn't hurt to try.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 10:01PM
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Does anyone know where to get advice on putting rent into escrow until the landlord and bank figure out who gets the property.

Here is our story...

Here is a link that might be useful: Escrow to Protect Deposit from Foreclosure

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 1:49PM
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eberkland, the rules and regulations on putting rent into escrow vary from state to state and sometimes large cities have their own rules. It's best to check with a lawyer on this type of thing, to make sure everything is done legally. Otherwise, it will look as if you haven't been paying rent, and the landlord can then evict you. Not something I'd want to make a mistake on, so get expert advice.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 4:57PM
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I don't know where your sister lives in Ohio. The Legal Aid Society of Columbus offers free advice on housing problems. There is a toll-free number on the website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Legal Aid Society of Columbus

    Bookmark   December 20, 2009 at 11:44AM
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