Secaucus, NJ asked in Foreclosure and Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey

Q: House is in foreclosure, do I still need to pay rent arrears directly to landlord?

This is just a out of curiousity. I was evicted from my apartment in August 2023. My former landlord and I entered into an agreement that I would pay my rent arrears in monthly payments. This was decided in court with is lawyer through mediation. The house is currently in foreclosure, once he loses the house, would I still continue paying him directly? This is just a curious question, I have no intentions on stopping the payments. He owes a large sum of money to the company that was providing heat to the house, he never paid them so his tenants were required to make their rent payments to the court till his debt is paid off. He was a slumlord, he never made repairs, I made the big mistake of not saving all my rent. I'm aware I'm responsible to pay my rent arrears, I'm not debating that, it's just I think it would serve him right if I needed to pay the court instead. Again, this is just a curious question, karma if you will.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations where a property is in foreclosure, the obligations agreed upon in court, such as your agreement to pay rent arrears, typically remain binding. The change in property ownership does not automatically negate your legal responsibility to fulfill the terms of that agreement. Therefore, you would generally continue making payments to your former landlord unless instructed otherwise by a court or legal authority.

However, if the property's ownership changes as a result of the foreclosure, it's important to stay informed about any legal decisions or instructions that may impact where and to whom your payments should be directed. Sometimes, the court or a new property owner might issue new directives regarding outstanding debts and payments. It's wise to consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific situation to ensure your actions remain in compliance with the law.

Maintaining records of all payments and communications regarding your rent arrears is crucial. Should there be any disputes or changes in the payment process, having detailed documentation can protect your interests. Additionally, if you're directed to make payments to a new party, such as the court or a new owner, ensure you receive official notification or documentation to that effect. Navigating these situations can be complex, but staying proactive about your legal responsibilities and rights will help you manage any potential challenges that arise.

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