Renters must beware because I recently received a new REO listing in Bullard, TX and when I out to have it re-keyed, a young man was inside the property doing work on it. He stated that the owners (who had just lost the house) were going to rent it to him and his family. He had been working on the property for the last month or so getting it ready for them to move in and he had been updating this property for free! Once he moved in, he would be paying rent but was updating it so that it was ready for his family.
Of course I felt bad because I had to be the bearer of bad news and re-key the property. I did give the young man enough time to get his belongings out and advised him to contact the previous owners.
Renters must beware because I have heard of situations like this happen before: Renters are unaware that the owners are about to lose the property to foreclosure and haven't been applying the rental payments towards the mortgage. I don't think it is asking too much to see a receipt every now and then or some type of proof that the mortgage is being paid.
Another young man had confided in me that the house he was renting was going to be foreclosed on because the owner hadn't been paying the mortgage even though he had been paying his rent on time every month. I advised him to try to work with the lender and owner to purchase the property through a short sale if his finances would allow. I gave him my number but he didn't call me back and I hope he was able to work everything out.