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  1. #1
    Wieluvver Guest
    I recently rented a house from a man, after moving in, the sheriffs came to the door looking for the owner to give him court papers stating his wife now has temporary custody of the house (which I reside w/my 5 yr old). I explained to them that he does not live here and that I rent the house from him. They left and the wife has come by since saying I must move-out immediately. Can they do this to me? I have a 1 year lease with the owner of the house. Help....
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    If the man is the true owner of record then your lease is valid. If there is a dispute with ownership of the property, then pay rent into a court or attorney trust account.
  3. #3
    Wieluvver Guest

    Tenants rights in a divorce of the owners

    There is no dispute of ownership. This married couple purchased this house together and are both on the deed. However the wife left the marriage, left the house and her husband and when she did that, he could not make the mortgage payments himself, so he rented the house out, to not lose it. Thats where I came in. I still make my rental payments to the husband.
  4. #4
    LL Guest

    Tenants rights in a divorce of the landlords

    If your rental agreement pre-dates the date of the court order giving the wife "custody" of the house, the wife may have to honor your agreement made with the husband.

    Be sure to read the court order.

    It is possible that the husband, knowing that the wife was going to get "custody" of the house, may have run out and rented the place to you, just to frustrate the wife who evidently did not know about the rental. If so, you can bet that she is hopping mad, and is meeting with her divorce lawyer as we speak (type).

    Her lawyer will probably make enough trouble for you that you will need your own lawyer. This requires a combination of real estate lawyer and divorce lawyer.

    If I were you, I would think about what could be the future of this whole situation. With good legal advice, you may be able to get paid for leaving, but remember to calculate how much you are getting after paying your own lawyer.
  5. #5
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Though your post doesn't tell us where you live (see the red text at the top of the screen), I can offer the following GENERAL advice.

    Assuming you have a valid lease, you are allowed to stay in the house until your lease is up. It is a contract, and contracts cannot be altered or amended unilaterally (meaning by one party only without the approval or acceptance of the other party). As long as you comply with the terms of the lease, pay our rent on time, etc. you can stay.

    However, another issue becomes that of who to pay rent to. To minimize the chance that you get in trouble with either, I suggest that you send a letter to BOTH owners (send it Ceritifed RRR) asking them to advise you in writing as to who to send rent to. Barring a clear response, your lease should spell out who (and where) the payments are to be sent. Comply with the lease.

    Finally, I would suggest that you make plans for moving at the end of your current lease if this situation does not resolve itself by then.
  6. #6
    Wieluvver Guest

    Tenants rights in a divorce of the landlords

    I live in Southern California, for the record. I would like to add that the wife has conveniently ommitted the fact that there are tenants living in this house when requesting her orders from a judge. When she had an ex-parte hearing with her husband, her attorney and her never mentioned that the house was rented out and the judge did not wish to hear anything the husband had to say. It involves domestic violence allegations in her emergency orders request. If that helps explain anything?
  7. #7
    LL Guest

    Tenants rights in a divorce of the landlords

    I'm not an attorney at all, just a busybody who comments on other people's business, so you should read my posting as only ideas, not advice.

    One thing is that, if your lease pre-dates any court orders, then the husband probably had a right to rent out the house to you,so your lease is probably valid.

    The next thing is that your lease probably stays valid and binding. Only a court can de-validate or modify the lease. First of all, you are not a party to the divorce (I hope not) so the divorce proceedings judge cannot order the lease invalid or modified. Absolutely not, if you are not brought into the proceedings by being summoned. So, you lease stays in place, you pay rent to whoever and wherever your lease says. Even if you were to be summoned, if you havent done anything wrong, like not paying rent, or damaging house, the judge won't invalidate your lease.

    The wife evidently got some kind of order (its not your business, but it would be useful for you to see the order)
    but it probably orders the husband in some way (not you). It may order the husband not to do anything like leasing out the house (if it is a temporary order), or it orders the parties to sell the house (tough, the lease goes with the house to whoever buys it), or it orders the husband to not live in the house, or to come near it, or some such thing. It doesn't order you to do anything.

    Now if one of the parties was planning to live in the house, they can't. If they made their arrangements in court without taking you into account, then at least one of them is going to be very upset. You don't have to get upset, but they will ytry and take it out on you.

    Unless you are served with a court order ordering you to, say, get out of the house, pay some money, stop paying money to whoever and wherever it says on the lease, just keep on paying according to your lease, both the amout, to whom and where is the place of payment. You won't get such an order. Beware of letters from attorneys, no matter how strong, and what they threaten. They may come with court orders attached, but that doesn't count to you because the court orders will not order YOU to do anything.

    One kind of order may say that the Husband (Wife) gets the income from the rental. Fine, but that doesn't affect who you pay to, because the court order won't order you to pay to anyone. If the H, W, Court want the money to go somewhere, let them order the husband to pay it to the wife.

    Attorneys usually don't like taking NO for an answer, so they will threaten you with everything. Use your head.

    And again, plan ahead for how you are going to end up with this whole affair after your lease expires. If someone wants to live in the house NOW, let them pay for your leaving, if that suits YOU. Keep in mind how much hassle and stress may be involved.

  8. #8
    Wieluvver Guest

    Tenants rights in a divorce of the landlords

    Thanks so much for the replies, everyone. I would like to ask if my lease stands up, which I would think so since it was made prior to any of the wifes court orders which are also against the husband, not me. Can the wife now serve me a 30 day notice to vacate for no reason and then of course after that an unlawful detainer? The whole process of evicting me even though I have a lease?
  9. #9
    LL Guest

    Tenants rights in a divorce of the landlords

    No, although she can try hoping that you will be scared away.

    Be sure that you pay your rent, on time, according to your lease, and take good care of the premises. Be cheerful and stay on good terms with both H, W and lawyers.
  10. #10
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    No owner (husband or wife) can do this if you are current on your rent and have not violated any term and condition in the lease because you have a fixed term lease. Any owner can give you notice that your lease will not be renewed and will be terminated upon expiration.
  11. #11
    LL Guest

    Tenants rights in a divorce of the landlords

    P.S. My teen-aged son who reads the forum after I go to sleep, reminded me this morning of my own lease.

    It provides, simply enough, that rent is to be paid at a certain place (my house) "or such other place or places as may be designated in writing from time to time by LESSOR".

    Thus, if the court wants the money from the rental to go to someone (e.g., wife) the court can order the husband to sign such a designation telling you to pay rent to wife at,say, her house, if he doesn't do that willingly.

    Realistically speaking, this is probably what you would actually receive if there is to be some disposition of your rent money as part of a divorce settlement. It has nothing to do with your right to stay in the house, it only affects to whom and where you should pay rent.

    Keep your head on your shoulders about the letter's authenticity, but then pay rent to whomever and wherever landlord has designated. Verify with LL if you have any doubts. Remember that it has to be the same guy with whom you have the lease (the LESSOR) who can re-designate to whom and where you should pay, not the wife or her lawyer.

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