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Mon Jun 11, 2012, 01:28 PM

The buidling went into foreclosure

Cross posted in the lounge...

In the case of the missing landlord thread I was hopeful that I was making progress with the leasing company. Here's the update:


Our lease is with a property management company and the end of our lease is soon. In three years, they changed names/addresses and finally disappeared completely. No one answers at the last known phone number I have and a recent letter was returned.

When we tried to track down the ownership of the building, the city had the wrong name listed (confirmed when we contacted the name on the list and he became irate because he owns the building down the street and not ours.)

Trash pickup stopped about a month ago but another tenant is paying it for now. Grounds keeping has stopped altogether and the grass is a foot high. Someone at the city found a foreclosure notice for the property and told us the building had been owned by overseas investors but was now bank owned. Said bank has now gone under and another bank is supposed to take over.

NOW WHAT? I understand that the terms of our lease are still valid, but how do we give notice that we plan to move? Where the hell is our deposit? How can we even decide to move if we don't know if we can stay or not?

Anyone with ANY experience/advice?

11 replies, 1818 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply The buidling went into foreclosure (Original post)
Phentex Jun 2012 OP
canoeist52 Jun 2012 #1
Phentex Jun 2012 #2
PeonInChief Jun 2012 #3
Phentex Jun 2012 #4
PeonInChief Jun 2012 #7
Phentex Jun 2012 #8
shcrane71 Jun 2012 #6
MADem Jun 2012 #5
Phentex Jun 2012 #9
MADem Jun 2012 #10
prettywomen Jul 2012 #11

Response to Phentex (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 01:42 PM

1. Very interesting situation. No answers from me. Maybe your building members could become an

"Autonomous Collective" and buy the place outright if you could find who owns it?

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Response to canoeist52 (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 01:51 PM

2. It would not be a good investment...

place is mostly empty and needs serious work. We have been good tenants and I would consider staying for a rent reduction so that we could do some of the work ourselves.

Newer places are all around us and we'd probably be better off moving but for the headache of that. *sigh*

Moving is probably inevitable. I just wish we had some options and I wish I know where our deposit was!

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Response to Phentex (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2012, 12:33 PM

3. Try here

If you are in California, this may be helpful:
TenantsForeclosure.blogspot.com

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Response to PeonInChief (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 14, 2012, 01:12 PM

4. I'm not but

that's got some good info. Thanks!

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Response to Phentex (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 14, 2012, 05:47 PM

7. Some thoughts

First, there should be laws in your state regarding notification of tenants when the building changes hands. If there is a law on this subject, the bank loses a point for not notifying you. You could, particularly since there doesn't seem to be anyone in charge, just not pay rent until you've recovered your security deposit, and then move. There are risks in this. The bank could demand the rent, and then you'd have to pay it and then turn around a sue them for your deposit. What seems to be happening here, though, is that no one has taken any responsibility for the building, which would, as a practical matter, limit your risk.

As for your lease, if the bank doesn't know you have one, you're not obligated to tell them. (Under normal circumstances, when a rental property is sold, all the leases, deposits and prorated rent are transferred at the closing.) You could just pack up your possessions and move. If you do that, I'd suggest notifying the owner that you're doing so, just so they don't try to sue you if there's any damage once you move out.

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Response to PeonInChief (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 10:55 AM

8. I really do want to move...

We aren't paying rent but I am prepared to pay something because we are still using the space.

We go back and forth between just staying and fixing things up as we'd like them to be and renegotiating a lower rent if/when a new owner shows up OR just moving out.

I am just anxious about the unknown.

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Response to PeonInChief (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 14, 2012, 04:43 PM

6. Welcome to DU, peoninchief!

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Response to Phentex (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2012, 01:25 PM

5. Maybe you could go to court and sue the owners (the bank) for your deposit?

Small claims, you can do it without a lawyer. If they don't show up, you get the judgment, for what that is worth (can't get blood out of an invisible entity).

Your other alternative is to just stay there until you've run out your first, last and security and move at that point--maybe, once you find out which bank owns the place, you can write to them and tell them "Either give me my money or I will stay here until "x" date and we'll call it even--send me a letter if you disagree?" Get the thing notarized and have the notary mail it!

Save the letter that was returned so you have good faith that you tried to contact the basstids!

You could always set up an escrow account and start throwing your rent money in that until you figure out what's what, and just sit tight, sending letters to the bank that owns the joint every few months.

Oh, and on edit, if there are leaks, damages, problems, fix 'em and take it out of the rent--keep receipts so you have proof of "necessary" repairs (i.e. leaky pipe, broken fixture--not upgraded bathroom tile or a spiffy new appliance). If there's no super to take care of stuff, you'll have to do it yourself. Take pictures, get cost estimates and either hire a pro or if you do it yourself, charge fair market value for the repair.

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Response to MADem (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 11:06 AM

9. Here's what the attorney said...

She said the letter was good but I need to go further and cc the last known property manager, the property manager's home address, and the last known bank...waiting for the letters to come back so that I have a good paper trail.

As far as the new bank owner, she said it could be months before they notify us and we shouldn't necessarily seek them out. We can ask the county for deed records but she said they are usually so messed up, we might be on a wild goose chase for a bit. And she said this is far more common than people realize.

She did say we would be month to month at the end of the lease regardless of what we know. She also said if the property remained bank owned, the bank would be eager to keep us in the space rather than kick us out especially with other space in the building available.

Same thing about keeping track of all the additional expenses and deducting that from any rent they may try to claim. She said we cannot force the other tenants to help pay for these costs but we should try to work out something fair.

Nothing too surprising or new but I felt better.

THANK YOU for your advice!

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Response to Phentex (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 12:29 PM

10. It's terrible to have that feeling of unease, isn't it?

I'm glad you are able to have a "game plan." I think it'll work out fine for you. Now's the time, though, to gather up all your paperwork and make copies of it and keep it in a safe place. You're going to need to prove to those people when or if you do decide to move that you paid a first/last/security, and they're on the hook for it!

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Response to Phentex (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 08:02 AM

11. Is it base on the economic policy

 

I think it is base on the economic policy!

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