Tenants’ Rights in Foreclosure:
Another Side of Foreclosure: The “Forgotten Victims:” Tenants who live in properties in foreclosure should know their rights
Tenants’ Rights could possibly be violated; but there is help from California Department of Justice.
According to California Department of Justice, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has launched an investigation aimed at protecting the rights of the “Forgotten Victims” of the housing market collapse---the tens of thousands of tenants facing eviction from buildings that have been foreclosed by banks.
Investigation revealed a pattern of illegal conduct and tenant harassment by banks, real estate agents and lawyers attempting to speed up evictions so that foreclosed properties can be sold.
To help the tenants: There is a statewide tenants’ rights organization, which has assisted 3,000 tenants involved in foreclosures. The organization is called “Tenants Together.”
To further bring assistance to the tenants, Attorney Brown has sent letters to banks, loan servicers, private investors and law firms asking them to outline how they “promote or preserve tenancies after foreclosures.”
In addition, the Federal Government, May 2009, enacted the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act” giving tenants new protections, such as the right to stay in their homes for at least 90 days after receiving an eviction notice. While state and local laws also contain strong protections, unlawful evictions and harassment of tenants continue.
Tenants should know their rights under the law. These rights include:
- Tenants cannot be required to move out of their homes for at least 90 days following an eviction notice.
- Tenants can insist on staying until the end of their leases. The only exception occurs when the new owner of a single-family home wants to move in.
- Tenants can require banks and their agents to put all communication in writing.
- Tenants are not obliged to accept “cash for keys” money to move out sooner than the law prescribes.
- Harassment, such as improper entry into a person’s home, shutting off water and lights, or changing the locks without a court order is illegal.
- The above rights extend to tenants living in government-subsidized Section 8 housing, who may also have additional protections under state and local laws.
- If a city has a “Just cause” for eviction law, a landlord must have a specific reason to evict a tenant, and foreclosure may not be recognized as a legitimate basis for eviction. Tenants should check local ordinances.
There are 16 cities in California have just cause for eviction ordinance: Berkeley, Beverly Hills, East Palo Alto, Glendale, Hayward, Los Angeles, Maywood, Oakland, Palm Springs, Richmond, Ridgecrest, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, and West Hollywood.
Reference: California DOJ: Attorney Jerry Brown: June, 28, 2010: News Release
Call me if you have further questions, I can help!
M. C. Campbell, Coldwell Banker
DRE Broker License # 01819507