Our landlord lost her home through foreclosure in Oct. 2011. We've been in the home not-paying rent, waiting for someone to tell us something. Recently, the landlord contacted us and said that she got the house back and is demanding rent money as soon as April 1st. We just got the notice at the beginning of the month. We do not fall under rent control, but is she allowed to do that? Do we have rights? The lease also ended in August before the foreclosure, so does the original lease still have any power? The house is an original 3 bedroom but we made the living room a bedroom by putting walls up, she also mentioned something about a building inspector coming next week to inspect the house. Since we had the living room as an extra room the rent was cheaper for everyone, but now she wants us
to to pay more because we have to get rid of the 4th tenant. Can she do this? We'd be paying $300 more than we need to.
Your facts are a bit complicated because you say first there was a foreclosure but then there wasn't.
Generally speaking, a landlord has the right to collect rent for the entire time that the landlord owns the property. If you haven't paid, the landlord can serve you with a 3-day notice to pay or quit for unpaid rent (up to 12 months), and then sue you in an unlawful detainer lawsuit to evict you if you do not pay in full.
You need to look at the lease itself to see if it has a "holdover" provision. Usually, your tenancy becomes a month-to-month tenancy after the expiration of the fixed term lease.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
You may not like this answer, but the truth is that a landlord's personal finances are none of a tenant's business. Whether or not the house is or was in foreclosure does not affect a tenant's obligation to pay rent. The house was at all relevant times the property of your landlord (she apparently settled the foreclosure action; the foreclosure did not occur; and she has resolved her issues with her bank) and, under your agreement, you were required to pay rent. The landlord would be justified in evicting you for non-payment of rent. If you want to continue living there, it would be wise to patch up your differences with the landlord and work out a plan to come current with the rent.