What Happens If My Landlord Goes Bankrupt?
I get asked this question, and it seems to be happening more and more as landlords, just like everyone else can be faced with the possibility of bankruptcy.
Much of what will occur for you the tenant, depends on what type of mortgage your landlord has. If they have a buy-to-let mortgage or if they have a standard mortgage, possibly one they took out to live at the property and then they have moved to another home and rented the property out.
Here is an article I have written on this subject a while back:
Landlord, Bankruptcy and Tenants
In these times of uncertainty and with the mortgage and housing market dropping, there are more and more repossessions of properties occurring. If you do not pay the mortgage payments each month, the bank or lender can take the property back and put you out on the street.
But what if you are a tenant in a property, you pay your rent each month and the landlord does not use it to pay the mortgage, or for whatever reason, does not pay the mortgage. As a tenant where do you stand in this?
You better be sitting down as you don’t stand too well is the answer.
It can be broken down into two categories, one is if the mortgage the landlord has is a buy-to-let mortgage, and the second category is if the mortgage the landlord has on the property is not a buy-to-let, but a standard/ordinary mortgage. But the bottom line in both of these instances is not good for the tenant.
If the mortgage the landlord has is a buy-to-let, then the mortgage company should be aware there is a tenant in the property. Once the property is repossessed the mortgage company will appoint a receiver to collect the rent from the tenant. Sounds fair enough, you are just paying rent to a different landlord. However, the mortgage company can begin the process of evicting the tenant if they choose and this can be done, in some instances, with as little as two (2) months notice.
If the mortgage the landlord has is not a buy-to-let mortgage, and if the property is repossessed, the lender can have the tenants evicted even quicker as they are not authorised to be living there by the lender.
I don’t know about you, but I have never once asked my previous landlords if the property has a buy-to-let mortgage on it or not.
One thing that makes this even more difficult for tenants is that the mortgage company will not discuss any of this with the tenant; it is none of their affairs and they are not on the mortgage. Under the Data Protection Act the lender cannot discuss this with the tenant. And a tenant may never even be aware of the pending repossession since they are not notified by the lender, the landlord may not advise them, and they may discard any post addressed to ‘occupant’ as junk.
Lastly, if a tenant wanted to purchase the property from the mortgage company after the repossession, while it may be possible, the lender is obligated to try and get the best price for the property as they can on the open market, thus making it more difficult for the tenant to purchase the property.
I think we all now will look at renting a place through different eyes and ask a few more questions besides where are the local shops and bus routes.