Collecting back rent on foreclosed home

Rent it Right

Q: We purchased a foreclosure property. The tenants have not paid rent for the past 18 months while the bank was the owner. The tenants claim that because the rent was owed to the bank, only the bank is entitled to ask for it (of course, the bank isn’t interested). Can we collect the rent or evict the tenants if they refuse to pay us? –Amir O.

A: When the bank sold the property to you, you purchased not only the physical property, but the contractual rights and responsibilities of the former owner (the bank). Those contractual rights and responsibilities were contained in the lease or, if the lease had run out, in the month-to-month rental agreement (with the same lease terms) that legally kicks in when tenants stay on with permission after the end of a lease.

So, for example, just as the old owner (the bank) had the right to receive the rent on the first of the month, you too can expect the same. And, if the lease promises parking, the new owner must assume this responsibility.