We rented a home in June and found out in August that it was in foreclosure. Can I break my lease without it ruining my credit?

Asked about 2 years ago - Orlando, FL

We found out about the foreclosure when they tried to serve the former tenant, it has been in foreclosure since march! Do i have the right to break my lease early?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No you must still pay on the lease rental agreement.

  2. Carol Lynne Zimmerly

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, you are obligated to pay the rent.
    If you like, you can give notice now that you will not be renewing the lease.
    In most cases, you will be moved out before the foreclosure sale happens.

    Send the landlord a notice that you will be moving out and would like a move-out appointment
    for noon on the last day of the lease term. Move your stuff, clean the premises, take pictures for your file, then meet the landlord to turn over keys. Send this letter certified about 35 days before the last day of the term.

    Good luck.

  3. Matthew Howard Hinson

    Contributor Level 6

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While I would mostly agree with the attorney's answer's above, I would not automatically say that you cannot move out.

    Landlord/tenant law is an area that is governed by both statutory and contractual law, as well as decisions handed down by appellate courts. Thus, they are very fact specific to your particular matter.

    First, you must look to the contract (if there is one) and the obligations/remedies that the contract provides for both parties. It is unlikely that your lease would have a clause regarding the home going into foreclosure, but I would not rule it out without reviewing it first. Additionally, some leases have provisions regarding notice and the ability to get out of the lease prior to it's stated termination.

    Second, if there is not a written contract, and or you are month to month, you may be able to simply provide the statutory notice required.

    While it is not likely that you will be able to move out, one could not say without a further review of the circumstances. You should contact an attorney in your area who can review your written lease (if applicable) and/or provide other suggestions after they have taken into account all of the facts surrounding your matter.

    The information contained in this answer is not,nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Please consult an... more
  4. Amanda Leigh Edwards

    Contributor Level 6

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . No, you can't. You must keep in mind that your contract (lease) with your landlord has absolutely NOTHING to do with your Landlord's contract (mortgage) with the lender (bank).

    As a result, barring any violations of the contract between you and your landlord you can not break a lease solely on the fact that it is in foreclosure.

    On a related note, foreclosures can take some time to get to the point of the house being sold at auction (if it ever gets there). Even if the landlord ultimately loses the foreclosure case and thus the house, you do have some level of protection.

    Before the "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009," was enacted, most renters lost their leases upon foreclosure. Now, tenants are entitled to at least a 90-day notice to terminate the tenancy.

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