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I rent my home and alway pay on time. My landlord has stopped paying the mortgage. Can I stop paying her?

San Antonio, FL |

My original lease was for ten years (rent to own). The landlord, my wife, and I have verbally agreed that it would be fine to terminate the lease as soon as we found another place closer to our grandchildren in Lakeland FL.

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Attorney answers 4


As long as you continue to live there, you need to pay rent. Your landlord's obligation to pay the mortgage has nothing to do with your obligation to pay your rent.

Attorney Inga Stevens is licensed in Maine. She provides general information on No attorney-client relationship arises out of the information given here.


You must continue paying rent to the owner.

Since you have agreed verbally that you may terminate the lease, get in in writing and have all parties sign.

Good luck!


In general, you should continue to pay the rent even though the house is in foreclosure. I have made the argument that the landlord is committing fraud by accepting rent and not paying the mortgage but the judges have universally said in essence, that "they don't care", you still have the obligation to pay the rent or face eviction.

The problem you have is that it is a lease option or rent to own situation. Any portion that you paid as a deposit or as part of your rent that would go towards the purchase price might be lost if the landlord is falling behind on the mortgage and in financial trouble. Perhaps you could negotiate something with your landlord, such as reduced rent. Sometimes there are also provisions in mortgage documents that if the landlord is in a state of default on the mortgage, that the tenant should pay the rent to the bank rather than the landlord.

Answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship


I have to disagree with the other attorneys. Depending on the terms of your rent to own agreement, you may be able to stop paying and avoid eviction but it is not something that you can do on your own. You need an experienced real estate attorney to advise you. Technically a rent to own agreement is not governed by the residential landlord tenant act so you should be able to stop an eviction but it depends on the attorneys knowledge and how quickly they act.

I provide a free 15 minute telephone consult for security deposit claims and eviction defense. No attorney-client relationship is created by answering questions in this public forum. If you wish to create an attorney-client relationship, you must contact me directly and sign a representation agreement. Answers are provided based on general ideas and an answer specific to your situation would require a review of all documents.

Robert David Devin

Robert David Devin


Mr. Chen is correct that a lease-option agreement is not technically governed by the landlord-tenant act, and you may have other options.

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