Tenant Rights Under Foreclosure

Did you know that you can sometimes be evicted from your property through no fault of your own? In some cases, it will be the property owner defaulting on their mortgage that gets all of their tenants evicted when the building goes into foreclosure. Tenant eviction under such circumstances is unfortunately not as rare as you may believe. If such an event does occur, the bank will normally want to evict all the tenants from the property in order to sell it as soon as possible. The tenants who currently live in the building will then be ordered to vacate the premises with very short advance warning.

What Will Most Likely Happen When the Bank Becomes Your New Landlord?

Sometimes the bank will attempt to maintain status quo and keep the property operating as before. In this case, they will hire a property manager to take the place of the former landlord. However, this is quite rare. In most cases, they will evict all of the tenants and then move to sell the property. Sometimes you will be offered a “cash for quit” deal in which you receive a small amount of money as an encouragement to vacate the premises as soon as possible.

Foreclosing on the Landlord Gives the Bank Full Control of the Property

There is no point in attempting to sue the bank to allow you to stay on the property. The foreclosing that the bank conducted on the property gives them full rights to do anything they wish with their new acquisition. If you are a tenant in a rent controlled or Section 8 apartment, you may be able to stay in the building due to regulations that give these types of tenants extra protection from sudden eviction. If this is not the case, it is best to make the most of the warning you receive in order to make plans to move elsewhere.

Foreclosure on the Property Will Mean the End of Your Lease

When the bank forecloses on the property, it almost always means that your lease or rental agreement is instantly rendered null and void. However, this does not mean that you will have to vacate the premises immediately. The new owner of the property is still required by law to give you a notice of eviction and a decent amount of time to make preparations to find a new home. Thanks to the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, tenants will usually have 90 days to find a new place to go before they are required to leave their present location.

You Don’t Want an Eviction on Your Permanent Record

If you do receive such a notice to vacate the property, it is wise to do so within the amount of time that the new owners give you. If you stay longer or try to fight the order, you may end up with an eviction on your record. This will harm your credit and make it very hard for you to find housing in the future.

Do You Have Any Rights When Faced with a Mass Tenant Eviction?

If you are facing a mass tenant eviction because the bank has declared foreclosure on your landlord’s property, you do have certain rights that you can have recourse to. You can’t stop the property from being foreclosed on. However, the rental agreement that you signed with the former owner was a binding legal contract. This means that you still have certain rights that are guaranteed and that the former landlord must continue to honor.

In Some Cases, You Can Sue Your Former Landlord for Satisfaction

Under certain circumstances, it is possible to sue your landlord in order to receive due compensation for any economic losses that resulted from their failure to properly observe the terms of the rental agreement that they entered into with you. If you decide to do so, you can file a suit in small claims court to recover any such losses that you may have incurred. These will usually be for such considerations as moving expenses, any application fees you may have to shell out for, and any increase in rent that you may now have to pay at your new location.

You May Have to Wait to Receive Satisfaction on Any Suit You File

It’s important to note that, even if you should win the judgment that you file against your former landlord, it may take quite some time for you to actually see any cash from it. After being foreclosed on, your former landlord isn’t exactly going to be loaded with extra money. You may have to pursue your judgment for a very long time in order to finally see some satisfaction from it. However, if you can hang on for a long enough time, you may finally be able to recover at least some of your costs.