What Should a Renter Do if the Landlord is Being Foreclosed?

Most renters are completely unaware of how (or even if) their landlord is paying the mortgage for their property–and from the time a renter finds his home is being foreclosed, it’s already too late to get anything. In years past tenants facing eviction because of their landlord’s foreclosure had been left outside in the cold without a protection and nowhere to go, with little or no proper to remediation. To protect innocent tenants stuck footing the consequences of the landlord’s irresponsibility, federal legislation has been introduced to prohibit both landlords and foreclosing creditors from ignoring their obligations.

Understand Your Rights

In May 2009, Congress successfully enacted the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA). The action covers each residential renter with a legitimate, active rental arrangement, whether written or oral. Your landlord is now statutorily required to honor the complete term of your rental arrangement throughout the foreclosure proceedings and also continue to preserve and repair the rental house as needed. If a brand new homeowner buys the house, he must assume the function as your new landlord and behave appropriately. If the new homeowner intends to use the house, your lease has expired or you are on a month-to-month (at-will) rental, you have at least 90 days from the date the new homeowner takes ownership of the house before you have to vacate.

Document Everything

From the moment you learn that your home is facing foreclosure, start maintaining a log of each correspondence to and from the landlord, even if you believe it is irrelevant to the situation. Use email or handwritten notes to converse with your landlord every time possible, and consistently make copies of any correspondence for your records before sending. In case your landlord offers you money in exchange for leaving early, agrees to cover a number of your moving expenses or makes any other promises, urge him to place down his words on paper so you have proof of your agreement .

Continue Paying Rent

Arguably one of the biggest mistakes a tenant can make when her landlord is being foreclosed is to cease paying the lease. As you might feel as though your landlord is not entitled to your money because he didn’t pay the mortgage with it, there’s no law that requires your landlord to turn on your lease to the lender. Neither if you negotiate with the lender to make your lease payments directly to the bank; until the lender forecloses, your landlord is still entitled to the cash. Provided that you continue living in the unit, you have to continue paying your rent on time and in full each month. If you stop paying, you can be evicted for nonpayment of rent and you risk losing your protection beneath PTFA.

…But Start Searching Listings Immediately

Though you can expect to continue living in the unit for three more weeks, then start looking for a brand new apartment immediately. Begin your search when you get notification of the foreclosure proceedings, and goal to have something set up from the last two weeks of your 90-day notice. Looking for new apartments won’t jeopardize your rights under PFTA, and your landlord cannot evict you for signing a new lease as you are still living in his unit.

Adhere to the Eviction Notice

When you inevitably receive your eviction notice, follow the directions precisely. Ensure you leave the unit at at least the exact same state as it was prior to moving in. Have your furniture and personal belongings packed and moved out one or 2 days ahead of your eviction date. Vacate completely from the eve of your true eviction date; if you can or want to, then you might move a day or two prior without penalty. In case the eviction notice violates your rights at all, however, challenge it when you get it. Contact the person who served you with the notice and explain your rights under PFTA. If a landlord or the lender threatens or bullies you, then do not devote; the two parties are banned from evicting youpersonally, and neither can physically remove you from the home. If someone does physically try to eject you, then contact the regional law enforcement agency immediately for assistance.

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