hello aim living in a building in NYC that is been in foreclosure ,but owner didn't tell as when sign up the lease 5 months i give him 2 month + 1 month rent deposit .the four month i paid to him but late fount that a receiver was assigned to collect the rent by the court so on fifth month i think just to withhold on the rent keep it aside until i figure out what to do .the owner tell me that he is going to try to get back the building and advice me just to withhold the rent ,but i don't want to go to court and been evicted also i dont want to loose my deposit .is there any way that i can trade deposit for rent ?? any advice thanks
Criminal Defense Attorney
You are obligated to pay your rent. If you don't the receiver can commence eviction proceedings.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 17 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Dear Bronx Tenant:
New York law does not provide an escape for a tenant from paying the contracted monthly rent solely due to the landlord's pending foreclosure litigation.
Since you know the court appointed a receiver, and were directed to pay to the receiver, you can no longer pay the rent directly to the landlord. But you should have an attorney review the court order with you to be certain of the obligations of tenancy, and the responsibility of the receiver. A usual order appointing a receiver also requires that the receiver perform the legal obligations of an owner.
Your "deposit" should already be safe if the owner placed your security into a proper tenant security deposit account when you started your tenancy. If the owner did not do so, then the security deposit is lost already. Otherwise, if in the proper tenant security bank account, the security remains your money and is controlled by the terms and conditions of the written lease.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
As it has been correctly stated by the above answering attorneys, regardless of whether or not your landlord is paying his mortgage; you are still required to contractually perform (i.e. pay on time) under your respective lease.
However, "WHO" you pay is a whole different story. You claim that you "found out" that a receiver was appointed to collect the rents...how did you find this out? Basically, you are obligated to pay your landlord the rent UNLESS you receive official notice (i.e., get served legal notice) that a receiver has been appointed. Said notice would also explain to you who to make the rent payments out to and to what address to send said payments to.
If you have not received a formal notice as described above, then you are to continue to send payments to your landlord. Most importantly, if you HAVE NOT received a notice from the receiver, and your landlord told you just to hold payments aside, THEN HOLD THE MONEY ASIDE.
Feel free to follow up with any further questions, comments, and/or concerns you may have. It also may make sense to get a consultation with local counsel who specialized in landlord/tenant issues just so you can get some accurate, direct, and specific advice.
Best of luck!
Real Estate Attorney
As a general proposition, the landlord's mortgage foreclosure is a matter between the landlord and the bank. Your lease is a matter between yourself and your landlord. If you agree to pay rent, you are obligated to pay rent, or in the alternative, face summary eviction for non-payment.
As my colleagues already correctly point out, you should bring the notice from the receiver to an attorney for help identifying where and to whom the rent should be paid.
This communication is intended only to provide general information. No attorney-client relationship is created.