We received the following email today, the official response from Fannie Mae:
"if he intends to become our tenant for any period of time, then he needs to make application and will pay rent until he vacates. If he doesn't want to make application, then we will start eviction which would probably not be completed prior to when he wants to vacate, but we never know.."
Aside from the rather awkward wording and capitalization and punctuation errors, the message is clear: either apply to be tenants, or face the possibility of being thrown out on the street!
For a few brief moments we (or at least I) considered not applying. Guaranteed rent-free time in our house...and really, what are the chances the eviction process would actually be finished before our move-out date?!
But then my conscience got the best of me. Ted wouldn't even hear of NOT doing the right thing. We agreed we would fill out the application, but I did ask him to call our "go-between lady" (the agent representing Fannie Mae) and clarify what was up regarding the rent. Would the rent be retroactive to when the former owners lost the house? We're getting ready to send Ted on the house-hunting trip to Ohio, so we'd like to know if we have enough cash to be able to write a deposit for our next rental house or not!
The good news is that we learned FOR SURE that we are living here for free during the month of June!! The bad news is that we'd have to start paying rent in July, and since we wouldn't give 30 days' notice (since our move-out date is July 10), we'd have to pay a whole month's worth of rent--they would not pro-rate it. I find that ridiculous, since we're giving them notice NOW that we're leaving July 10!!
However, the lady did say that once July 1 comes, we can refuse the lease terms, at which point they would start the eviction process, and we would surely be out of here before that actually happened. Still...would an eviction be on our record?! Technically we were evicted from our last house, even though we did nothing wrong!! We had even paid rent all the way up until we had to leave!
Crazy thing, government.