If I’m living with friends in their home and it was sold at auctioned am I entitled to moving expenses like them.

My family has been living with my grandchildren other grandmother,
she just had the home auctioned off for foreclosure reasons. We did
not have a rental contract with her, just a verbal to cover half of
all utility bills which we have done.

Asked on May 15, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you paid rent or a form of rent, then you are considered to be a "tenant". And paying for all or part of the utilities qualifies. Accordingly, you have rights. When a home goes into foreclosure, tenants who don't have a written lease (i.e. are a month-to-month lease) or have no lease at all, have to be given at least 90 days notice to move. Additionally, in cases where state law provides more protection than the federal law, the state law applies. You should be aware however, even if a foreclosure action has already been filed, as long as the landlord remains the owner of record that (is still on the title to the property); a tenant must continue paying rent (in this case the utilities). Additionally, sometimes an incentive can be negotiated between a new owner and a tenant so that the tenant agrees to move out early. This incentive is known as “Cash for Keys”, wherein the owner will pay a tenant to leave the property early in exchange for a cash payment. The amount and timing of the payment can be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not entitled to moving expenses. You were not a tenant, but a guest, and had no legal right to occupancy of the home. Having no legal right to occupancy (i.e. you could have been removed by whomever did have possession, such as your friends, at any time), you are not entitled to moving expenses.

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