Another thought to avoid this in the future is look at buying your own home; if your able to buy now you can take advantage of the First Time buyer $8,000 tax credit (Tax Credit scheduled to end November 30th but talk of it being extended another 6 months), historically low 30 year fixed rates and many low to no down payment programs still available.
The information that lenders are sending agents who list REO, including myself, clearly states that they are much more concerned with tenants who can prove they have a lease, which is why I suggested that you pay by check and not cash so you can prove that you have been living there under a lease. The lender who sold my client the home (a tenant ) for a fair price was a national lender, not an Ohio lender, so this may apply all over. Also, several major national lenders have joined initiatives to help tenants in cases like this, so please don't give up hope and be proactive. I don't know anything about your legal rights in Washington, and I hope I didn't come across as trying to offer legal advice, which I was not :-)
Good luck to you and I am sorry to hear about this problem with your home. Call your lawyer and protect yourself!
Also, checking that the landlord is not in foreclosure when you move in is prudent, but it won't ensure that this will not happen again. In fact, the landlord could be in default two or more months without a prospective tenant being able to determine through public records that they're in default.
Within the past year there has been both state and federal legislation that in certain situations allows a tenant to stay for much longer than the 14 days after the sale allowed under prior law. Rebeccacr should consult an attorney about their rights. For one thing, there may be the issue of the deposit to consider. For another, it's possible that there might be a period where rent does not have to be paid. That could be a very valuable right.