What are my rights as a renter when the owners of the property lose the property that I’m currently renting/occupying?

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What are my rights as a renter when the owners of the property lose the property that I’m currently renting/occupying?

Asked on December 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

By "lose", I assume that you mean it was foreclosed on. The fact is that federal law requires that when a home goes into foreclosure, tenants with a written lease can continue to occupy the home until: the end of the lease period or 90 days, whichever is longer. There is, however, an exception imade if the new owner intends to move in and occupy the home as their primary residence. In that event, a 90 day notice to move applies. Additionally, the laws of some states provide even more protection.

Just remember, that until title to the property passes, the landlord is still the owner. Therefore, the tenant's obligation to pay rent contiunues, whether or not the landlord is paying the mortgage. The lender will inform the tenant when the property is sold/transferred. After this time, the landlord will no longer be the legal owner, so they will not be entitled to collect rent (the tenant will be informed by the lender where to send their rental payments).

Note: The lease is still in effect until there is a new owner, so a tenant could be sued if they break their lease.


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