In this real estate market everyone is looking for a steal. However, some offers are too good to be true. In the past only potential renters required background checks needed to close a rental agreement. Now times are different, and landlords need to be investigated too.
Here are some helpful tips if you are planning on renting from a private owner:
1. Research online that the person you are dealing with actually owns the Property. (go to the property appraiser’s website and search for the property) in Broward County the website is www.bcpa.net) Findfor the owner’s name, when the owner bought the property, the current appraised value, and what the owner paid.
2. Look in the County’s official records (www.broward.org/records) I believe all counties now have their records online. Search for the mortgages on Property(search by the owner’s name). Does the Owner owe more than the property is worth? Search for Lis Pendens filed in the official records (a lis pendens is a legal document filed when there is a lawsuit pending relating to the property generally a foreclosure lawsuit!)
3. Go to the Clerk of Courts Website and see if there is a foreclosure action pending against the Owner of the Property. www.browardclerk.org
Many times owners who are in foreclosure or close to it, try to rent out the property to get some last minute cash in hand from the property. However, the tenants are at risk from being removed from the property if the home is foreclosed upon. Moreover, do not expect a foreclosure-bound landlord to fix or maintain the property.
Article by: Andrew Douglas, Esq., Andrew Douglas, P.A., 954.474.4420