Rachel, Other/Just Looking in 95691

Renter facing foreclosure >:-(

Asked by Rachel, 95691 Thu Jul 17, 2008

I am a renter whose house is a in foreclosure and about to go to auction. I rent through a property management company. Once the bank or a winning bidder gets the house, do I still legally have to pay rent to the property management company?

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New legislation has passed in California that requires owners of properties obtained through foreclosure to give tennants 60 days to move. Here is information directly from the California Association of Realtors:

- 60-Day Notice to Terminate Tenants: Effective July 8, 2008, a tenant or subtenant in possession of a rental housing unit that has been sold through foreclosure is generally entitled to a 60-day written notice to quit, not just 30 days. However, a borrower who remains on the property after foreclosure may be served a three-day notice to terminate. This law does not affect, among other things, rent-controlled properties with just-cause evictions. Effective on or about September 8, 2008, the lender, trustee, or authorized agent posting a notice of sale must also post and mail a specified notice of a tenant's right to a 60-day eviction notice from the new owner, unless other laws apply. This requirement to notify tenants of their rights applies to loans secured by residential real property where the borrower has a different billing address than the property address.

This does not mean that someone on behalf of the new owner (typically a bank) will not offer you (or other tennants) cash for keys or some other arrangement to intice you to move sooner.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 18, 2008
Hi Rachel,

99 times out of a 100 the bank will take ownership of the property at the foreclosure auction. This is because bidders at auction do not want to pay more than the house is worth: the banks auction price is usually higher than the property value.

In either case, the old property manager does not have a contract with the new owner, thus they are immediately out of the picture. You may have a difficult time getting your security deposit back from them.

. Often the acquiring bank will have a clean out specialist, a lock changer and a cash for keys negotiator. Document the condition of your home and your personal property with a camera and keep the pictorial evidence with your person or other safe place away from the property. Isolated instances have occurred where the bank flagrantly breaks the law and removes the occupants belongings and changes the locks without proper legal notice. If any body promises you anything, such as cash for keys. GET IT IN WRITING.

Be prepared to deal with people who may be kind or they may rude, but remember they have a job to do, and the job they have to do is -- to do a job on you!. Their job is to take your house away and to get you out as soon and as cheaply as possible. In rare cases the foreclosing bank may let a tenant stay awhile, but that is a rare and an unusual exception. If such an offer is made, make sure the people making it have the legal authority to offer it, make sure that everything is in writing and make sure that you aren't just getting ripped off by a fraudster pretending to represent the bank.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 17, 2008
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
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I am one of those guys who knocks on your door after the bank takes possesion of your home, so I may be meeting you soon. Since you are a tenant, new laws now allow you to stay in your home for 90 days, provided you can come up with a valid lease agreement and you are not related to the owner (person who lost the home). If you signed a one-year lease and still have more than 90 days left on that lease, you can stay for the term of your lease, but would still need to pay rent to the bank.

The bank does want to take possession of the property as soon as it can, but they will offer you cash for your keys and for you to leave the home empty and in broom clean condition. Banks are offering several thousand dollars these days, to make it worth your while. Contrary to some postings, we are not here "to do a job on you". Most of us want to help with your negotiation with the bank and work toward a solution that makes your transition not such a bad thing.

If you know that your home is going to auction on a certain date, you may want to contact your property management company to negotiate getting your deposit back NOW, because once it changes hands, your chances of getting your deposit back will vanish. If they won't give your deposit back (full or partial), then why would you pay rent, knowing that your landlord made a decision long ago to stop paying their mortgage payments?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 31, 2009
My friend in NJ bought a house that was repossessed and had several tenants in it. The tenants stayed in the house and the rent started going into escrow every month until he bought it. Luckily it worked out that the tenants stayed and continued paying rent but to a new owner (him).
Maybe you could find out if the new owner is just investing, or is planning to live in the property. If just investing, you should see about working a new deal with the new owner
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 23, 2008
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