Rental Watch-Are the Mortgage Payments Being Made?

Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

fairfax county rentalThis week a call came from a former client asking for help for his co-worker.   The sheriff had turned up at the door of their rental property with orders to evict them from the premises.  The renters a US Army Major and his family had moved in to the property in early June and had been paying their rent on time.  Unfortunately the owners of the home had not been paying the mortgage.  Instead it appears that they had been cashing the rent checks and using those funds for other expenses.  Now the bank is foreclosing on the property and wants the tenants OUT! 

Fortunately for the tenants when the sheriff arrived he was sympathetic to their plight and helped make arrangements for them to stay for another 2 weeks while we locate another property for them to move to.  As it turns out the bank had no idea that there were tenants in the property and not the owners.  With the plethora of rental properties available in the area finding them a new place to live is not a concern.  They have little hope of being able to recover their security deposit and will have the expense, hassle and trauma of having to move in a hurry.

It turns out that this is not an isolated event. Speaking with other agents in my office it turns out there are others who have faced this same situation, some with literally an overnight notice to pack the van.   Investors who have properties with a negative cash flow find that they no longer have the ability to come up with the extra cash needed every month.  In some cases it may be rising mortgage payments from an adjustable rate loan and in others it may be just a rental scam.  No matter what the family who is living the house are the ones who end up taking the brunt of the issue as they now pay for a move they hadn't planned on making.

This family is "lucky" in finding officials who are willing to help them but it made me take a look through the MLS at newer properties around Northern Virginia listed for rent.  It was easy to find a number of properties both listed for rent and sale where the comments in the sale information clearly stated "third-party approval" or "short sale."  This should be an immediate red flag to anyone who works with renters.  Move on.  The bank isn't going to let a renter stay when they foreclose.  There were also properties  currently rented that say "Investors Only-currently rented-Short Sale".  If an investor doesn't step up to the plate my guess would be the current renters are going to find themself on the street as well.

So for anyone who works with rental clients in Northern Virginia make sure you look closely at the MLS and tax information to help your clients avoid what this family is facing-an unexpected and traumatic move.

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                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations. 

Military Relocation Professional

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Integrity Real Estate Group
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia




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Al Maxwell
Keller Williams - Marietta, GA
Real Estate Agent
That is an amzing story and quite unfortunate for the tenants. Thanks for passing this along.
Oct 14, 2007 10:46 AM #1
Sean Allen
International Financing Solutions - Fort Myers, FL
International Financing Solutions
Cindy, Sell them a home. If he is a Major then he should be getting a large amount for housing expense and could be making mortgage payments instead of rent payments.
Oct 14, 2007 10:49 AM #2
Ronald Gillis
Southwest Florida Notaries (Mortgage Notary Signing Agent) - Port Charlotte, FL
CNSA Southwest Florida. Notaries, Port Charlotte, 941-7-NOTARY

I'm not from your area, wish I could help, GOOD LUCK!!!  Let us know how things turn out!


Oct 14, 2007 10:49 AM #3
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Sean-this is only a year assignment before another stint overseas.  We put in an application on another rental today that is in the same school district for his kids.  We met the owners and they are a great retired couple so hopefully this will have a good ending.
Oct 14, 2007 11:03 AM #4
Todd and Danielle Millar
Glenn Simon Inc. - Edmonton, AB
Sixteen years of excellence!
Very sad for the family. It it good to know they can get another rental quickly before the weather cools.
Oct 14, 2007 11:41 AM #5
Cris Burlew
Beach & Luxury Realty, Inc. - Saint Pete Beach, FL
Broker ~ St Pete Beach FL Real Estate
Very good information, no matter the location. One of my agents had to go a property to meet with the tenants and make them a cash offer to move out in 5 days, per the REO company. Unfortunately, we will be seeing this happen in all areas. Everyone forgets about the tenants when it comes to foreclosures, some are lucky and some are not. Good luck with finding them a place.
Oct 14, 2007 02:03 PM #6
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR
Another bad thing is the "rent to own".  We had a family who had made payments on their house for 6 years, made improvements, fixed the yard and considered it their own.  The landlord had bought numerous properties and didn't make HIS payments to the bank so this family lost their home. 
Oct 14, 2007 02:08 PM #7
Dawn DeGroff
Fredericksburg Realty, Inc - Fredericksburg, VA
Cindy, It is far too common.  A neighbor of mine ran into a similar experience.  Last October they signed a year lease.  At the beginning of the summer they tried to get their pool passes...they were unable to because the owner was not paying the HOA fees.  The home is now being foreclosed. 
Oct 15, 2007 04:31 AM #8
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Chris-I wish these clients had been offered some cash to move.  Unfortunately the cost appears to be all their's and I doubt they will get their security deposit back.  They were worried about cleaning and in unision all of us said FORGET IT!
Oct 15, 2007 08:07 AM #9
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Dawn-as you know it makes it even worse when it is a military family.  They are in between tours of Iraq and another overseas assignment so now they get to move again. 
Oct 15, 2007 08:10 AM #10
KC Coonc
Windermere Real Estate/Whatcom, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Commercial Real Estate
This is something I knew could happen but had'nt thought about for quite some time. Thanks for addressing this.
Oct 15, 2007 08:36 AM #11
Dale Campbell
Virginia Real Estate - Mechanicsville, VA
Wow, Cindy - How Terrible!  They are lucky to have you to help them!  You will have a client for life if you can help them.
Oct 26, 2007 02:07 AM #12
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Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
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