We have been renting this house since 2012 paying $800 a month and just discovered that the landlord (brother in law) has not been paying the mortgage since Sept. 2014. He has not communicated with us about this. Back when we agreed to the terms he gave me access to the online mortgage account because I knew how he did his finances . He has bounce several checks against the account. I am slowly getting copies of statements to confront him. What is my rights in this situations? Should I contact the mortgage company and make the payment to them? Should I start paying the taxes on the house?
You should not pay the mortgage directly or pay the taxes. You must pay rent to the landlord, paying anywhere else can get you evicted for non payment of rent. That is until the property is foreclosed or sold then you pay rent to the new owner. If you have a written lease then you will have a better time after the foreclosure. If not then you will have to prove you are a legal tenant to the new owner. Unfortunately the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act ends tomorrow unless renewed at some point. So you may be best served by finding new housing. If you are in a lease then you have some issues with potentially breaking that lease so a consultation with an attorney is going to serve you best and give you the best direct advice.
I don't think you should be gathering evidence against the landlord to use against him later. Instead, I think you should confront the landlord and see what you can do to save yourself. At the end of the day, if the home is foreclosed, you will most likely need to find a new place to live. The purchaser at the foreclosure sale could continue to rent to you, but it is less likely if the bank is the purchaser.
Perhaps the landlord can sell you the house. Visit with an attorney if that is something you want to consider.
The above statements are provided as general information and not intended as legal advice. Each matter has its own set of unique circumstances that cannot be adequately addressed without consultation. You are strongly advised to hire an attorney licensed to practice law in your state to represent you.
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