DEAR BENNY: I recently signed a one-year lease with a property management company for a house for my family. As I was opening junk mail the other day, I came across a letter addressed to the property owner notifying her of a pending notice of default and demanding mortgage payments for the last several months in the total amount of $21,000. I am reluctant to pay future rent to the property management company as the property owner will be (or already is) in default, and will cease to own the house long before my one-year lease is fulfilled. I realize that the property owner could still make up the past-due mortgage payments, but as I understand it, if I pay the rent to the property manager I may still be liable for those same rents to the bank/lender if the foreclosure is transacted, and at that time will not be able to collect any part of my deposit back. My rent is $1,895 per month, and the owner's mortgage payment is $3,000 per month. Am I right in not paying the rents? ...
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