Landlord Foreclosures - Let The Renter Beware

Something very interesting with regards to real estate, but unbeknownst to most renters of homes or apartments, is that renters must be very aware of exactly what they are getting themselves into when they sign a lease contract.

Due to the high rate of foreclosures these days, many apartment buildings, as well as homes are being foreclosed, and the owners of those properties abdicate responsibility to the building or its tenants upon foreclosure. So what happens if you are a renter, and you signed a long-term lease, and subsequently the owner undergoes foreclosure?

You may end up losing your security deposit, and your last month’s rent, and you may be forced to evacuate the apartment with very little notice, unless you are careful to take the right steps. Therefore let the renter beware, and research the status of the space he/she/they are about to occupy. Is the landlord solvent? Are the mortgage payments up to date? Have the property taxes been paid? These questions can be answered more easily than a renter may think.

For example, most states have property records available for view right on the Internet. From there, the renter can often find all sorts of good stuff, like the mortgage amount owed on the property, the tax records, and the date the property was purchased. Many properties were purchased in the past few years with the help of unscrupulous mortgage brokers and lenders, by investors who couldn’t really afford their purchases, but were able to close the deals by giving sub-prime mortgages to the lender.

As the adjustable interest rate on those mortgages climbed, many owners found, and are finding themselves unable to pay their mortgage loans, and of course the result is foreclosure. The innocent and uninformed renter can be left with no place to live, and a loss of the equivalent of two month’s rent. Therefore, a renter should research all of the readily available information before signing a lease agreement. For more information, visit

Good idea. The only problem that I can see with it is that any applicant who starts prying into my finances is going to be automatically rejected. So they aren’t going to be renting from me.

I try really hard to screen out troublemakers and those who think that a good lawsuit is their ticket to win the lottery.

Is it really prying into your business when most of what was stated is public info anyway? Not only that, is it wrong for a possible tenant to exercise due diligence in making sure he/she will have a home for the next year? Not saying you would do that, but if I’m looking to rent from you, I don’t know you from a can of paint. Just a question.

If they can pay the rent I am asking then I can pay the mortgage. All will be fine.

I too would look up any public records if I were renting. I dont care how much they owe or the property taxes. I might be able to pick up the back taxes at the delinquent tax auction under the right conditions. I would be more concearned of criminal activity or how many lawsuits they filed and those filed against them.

In my state you would have plenty of time to vacate after the foreclosure. I’ve got one person who is still living in the home that was foreclosed on in April. The lender has yet to even come out and check on the property. Crazy thing is that they would still have to go through the eviction process to remove her if it came down to it. And in Illinois even if you do EVERYTHING correctly tenants can legally hold you up for months if they want.