I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, if not can mods kindly move where appropriate?
I'm in a bit of a predicament and just need to know what my options are.
We've been renting a house from an individual for the last 22 months and being rather comfortable. A few months ago letters started to appear at the gate, delivered there by the sheriff; It turned out that the owner was having financial difficulties.
In speaking to the owner, I was assured that - should something happen - I would be made aware of the situation as it happens and there would be ample time for me to make other arrangements. Well, I naively agreed that we would stay as we are rather happy with the place and the area. Today the sheriff posted a letter at the gate stating that the premises is set to go on auction on the 17th of Feb!!!
I was obviously rather silly in not leaving sooner, but like I said, we are rather happy here and the thought of moving is not very appealing. But now my concern is twofold:
1. I know for a fact the owner (by his own admission) does not have my deposit anymore, despite his assurances that getting my deposit won't be a problem. I believe that the owner was supposed to leave the deposit in an investment account but have not done so.
2. I'm concerned that I won't be able to get a suitable property before the 17th of Feb.
Now, the initial logical thing would be that I stay on for the month of Feb and not pay the owner for that month. This seems like the easiest solution, but I don't if this would be legal?
Should the auction materialize and the house is sold on the 17th of Feb, at what point should I vacate the premises? I was hoping that I can leave on the 28th of Feb, hopefully giving me enough time to find another place and save the month's rent to use as deposit for a new place. But the last thing I want is for people come trampling through the house - uninvited - on the 18th of Feb, or any possible legal implications as I may be squatting?
I believe that the new owners of the property are entitled to rent from the 18th, but now that defeats the object of withholding the rent for Feb as I'll be paying part of that to the new owner. I've also made peace with the fact that I won't see my deposit...
Any thoughts on this matter? Thanks so much for your help!!