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Landlord died, home will go to foreclosure, Son wants us to pay rent to him. What Do we do? No written lease, only verbal.

La Porte, IN |

We are saving our pennies and looking for a new place to live. But in the mean time what should we do?

We live in a Duplex. Our landlord lived next door. He was elderly and we helped take care of him. There was never a written rental agreement/lease, only verbal. I know for a fact, his son is not going to continue paying the mortgage (he can not afford it), he has told me this much. He is wanting us to pay rent to him. He has told us the bank will foreclose sense the mortgage will not be paid.. Why should we pay rent to him, when we will soon be getting a eviction notice in the mail? I know the landlord had other children (not in our area), so I am not sure if I should be paying rent to the son. He already cleaned out the other side of the home. Should we hold onto the rental money?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You should contact an IN landlord tenant attorney before you take any further steps, including withholding rent. That attorney will help you identify to whom you should be paying rent.

    (Withholding may open you to liability under which an eviction process could be started; frequently, the eviction process takes a few weeks. Under a recent federal law, after a home is foreclosed, the new owner (bank, mortgage company, individual) is required to give 90 days’ notice to tenants if the new owner wants the tenants out.)

    You can use the Avvo.com search option, or call your county bar association and request a referral. There are also many legal aid groups willing to offer free assistance if you qualify.

    I am licensed only in the Commonwealth of Virginia, I try to provide sound guidance but I am not providing legal advice, you are urged to contact an attorney in your home state for specific guidance and legal advice. We do not have an attorney-client relationship and I am under no obligation to respond to subsequent emails or phone calls. I wish you the best of luck.


  2. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible. This matter is a probate and landlord/tenant issue. He may have the right to collect rent depending on the situation. Whoever is the rightful owner of the property has the right to collect. The rightful owner, as of right now, is the biggest question you need answered from an experienced attorney.

    The above information is not intended as legal advice. If you have any legal questions consult with an attorney of your own choosing.


  3. The rightful owner is either the Probate Estate of the Landlord (the Executor/Personal Representative) or someone who acquired the property by non-probate transfer (MO example: beneficiary deed).

    The son should show his authority to you to collect...

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