I read with sadness this morning an article on CNN.com that talked about a tenant who got evicted during a foreclosure process even though she had paid her landlord the rent on time. I felt horrible for this mother who not only was responsible but who lost her deposit and her dream.
Then I got angry ... why did the rental company she used not do a credit check on the owner of the home?
I have put together a few tips for prospective renters.
If you are renting through a rental company (they are getting paid a commission) make sure you demand that they check the credit of the landlord. There may be a small charge for this - but this sad story shows that it's worth it.
Next, see if you can pay directly to the mortgage company - at least you will know the some of the mortgage is being paid.
Get a notarized letter from the owner of the home authorizing you to have contact with the Mortgage holder to make sure payments are being made.
Always pay with a check never cash! A check is trackable and will provide you with a history of positive payment.
Do a google alerton the address of the property you are renting. You will find pre-foreclosure notices usually published will come up.
Unfortunately there is no fool proof way to insure that your landlord pays their mortgage but you can be proactive and try to lessen the risk.
Hope this helps and Happy Renting!