Florida Real Estate – Beware of Fraudulent Landlords

Posted By on June 16, 2009

Recently, I saw a television news report about how people are renting out homes that they don’t own. It reminded me that in these trying economic times, renters must be especially careful in who they rent from.

A number of my clients, for example, are renting properties from landlords who themselves are being foreclosed upon. Meaning, the home my client is renting is being foreclosed at no fault of my rent paying client. I am thus often asked by my clients if in such situations should they continue to pay rent. I reply that on the one hand, even if they pay the rent timely, they will likely be evicted because the bank who is foreclosing will probably want the property empty once the foreclosure is completed in order to sell the property. On the other hand, however, if my client does not pay the rent, their landlords can file an eviction action against my client, even though the eviction process will be rendered moot by the foreclosure sale, and thus negatively affect their credit. It’s a difficult decision, but most clients decide to pay the rent and look for a new place to live before they are evicted.

Based on what is happening with so many foreclosures still occurring, I strongly suggest that you consult with an experienced Florida Real Estate Attorney to perform a title search and to take additional precautionary measures prior to signing any rental contract.  A title search will reveal if the property is in foreclosure or other defects that may affect your decision to rent the property.

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