Tuesday morning, while I'm getting ready for work, a strange man knocks on my door. He was a process server; my landlord is being sued for foreclosure.
My first response was definitely emotional. I worked myself up in a span of a few minutes and declared that I was not going to pay my rent if he wasn't going to pay his mortgage. Unfortunately for me, my lease does not include a clause that the landlord's failure to pay his mortgage is a material breach.
I've heard from so many different people; and each person tells me to do a different thing: Pay the rent; don't pay the rent; move out immediately; don't move out right away. And, I work for an attorney, so I've gotten the "legal" opinion as well. However, I have decided to do things my own way.
Therefore, I filed an answer to the summons (I was included as the "unknown tenant in possession") and I will pay March rent (due on Monday). After all, my lease is still a contract and I obligated myself to pay rent to my landlord. Stupid as it may be, I'm not going to do something ethically wrong just because it has to do with money. My plans are to eventually negotiate, or request the court to order, my release from the lease so I can move out. Even if the bank does go through the whole foreclosure process, the courts in Florida are so backed up that my lease term will naturally end before that time.
Whether or not I made the right decision will not be known until this is over. But I made a decision and I'm going to follow it through. I'll check back at the beginning of next month to see if my ethics are still intact and I haven't given in to the temptation to not pay my rent.