Q: Three months ago, we rented a house that was listed by a real estate agent. We were told the owner lived abroad. After negotiations between our agent and the listing agent, we filled out a detailed application, paid first and last month's rent (plus a security deposit) and moved in and are still current on the rent. Yesterday we received a letter from an "asset preservation" company telling us that our rental home is a bank-owned foreclosure and that we have to move. What is going on?
LOS ANGELES - The gig: Michael Marini, 49, is chief executive of Planet Home Living, one of the leading developers of small-lot subdivisions - clusters of townhome-like single-family houses that are only inches apart from each other. The sleek, modern developments have proved extremely popular among Los Angeles homebuyers in recent years, particularly in high-demand neighborhoods, where there's little for-sale housing being built. Lists of those interested in the LA-area firm's projects are in the hundreds, Marini said. And he's currently under construction or about to start work on nine developments, eight of which are small lots. "Never been busier," he said.
Q: We live in a townhome and share a wall with our neighbor, who has an untreated rat infestation. The neighbor does not live there but has been aware of the problem for well over three months. We can't sleep because of the noise and movement inside the shared wall. What can we do to get this resolved?
The Federal Housing Administration's home equity conversion, or HECM, reverse mortgage offers multiple options that are designed to meet a wide range of senior needs and capacities. This is a major strength of the program, but it can also be a weakness. Multiple options make the program complex, which opens the door to poor decisions that can be costly.
Q: We have been renting a single-family home for two years. Last year, the $2,600-a-month rent increased to $2,691. This year we received a letter stating that the rent now will jump to $2,880 a month - an 11 percent hike in two years. We take care of the place and pay on time. Do we have any recourse other than moving out?