I'm renting a room and i was given 3weeks to move out. The house has been up for foreclosure. Can i get cash for keys? I'm in San Jose CA

Asked by Adriana Negrete, Mission San Jose, Fremont, CA Tue Oct 23, 2012

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Mitchell Pea…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Oct 24, 2012
Adriana Negrete:

First, are you renting month to month or are you on a lease? Second, is this a true foreclosure with an auction on the courthouse steps or a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure? These are the threshold questions.

First: True foreclosure means the the home is sold on the court house steps to a buyer, or it goes back to the bank. If it goes back to the bank, the bank becomes the landlord and usually wants tenants OUT. If it is bought by an investor, he may want you to STAY and may simply give you notice of where to send the rent check or a notice of how much more he will charge in rent. Or he may want you OUT, in which case he may negotiate a cash for keys or simply evict you.

Let's assume a true foreclosure:

If you are on a lease that lasts past the next thirty days, then the new owner has to honor that lease, in which case you should be able to negotiate a cash for keys scenario. On the other hand, the new landlord might be a cash investor and he may want to negotiate you staying.

If you are on a month to month, or tenancy at will, (meaning no contract of any kind) then things are more dicey for you. Facts in your favor is that it costs money for the new landlord to evict you. Second, he cannot simply lock you out. Since you are there and it is your home, you have some rights to occupancy that result in the necessity of the new landlord having to evict you. (From the landlord point of view this is called a "tenancy at sufferance" meaning the landlord has to suffer with you being a tenant until the court authorizes and the sheriff completes the eviction.) Eviction costs money, which the new landlord does not want to pay. The cost are about $1,000. So, if you ask for $2,000 from the new landlord, that might be a starting point. You might get it or less or nothing. You might simply receive a notice to quit or be evicted.

Let's assume a short sale:

In this case, the landlord is planning to hire a realtor to sell the home. The realtor or the landlord should give you notice. In this situation, the terms of your rental contract apply. If you are on a lease, then you can negotiate cash for keys. If you are on a month to month tenancy or no contract of any kind, then you have notice and it is time for you to move. Rather than give you cash for keys, they can just evict you. Yes, it costs money but an eviction record is a public court document that will show up on back ground checks for you when you try to rent and on your credit report if you try to buy, so you need to avoid eviction at all costs. So, the ability for you to negotiate cash for keys is limited. You may want to buy a new home or just find a place to rent, either way, you need a place to live till you can move. This is where a talk with the owner or his realtor would really help. Each of you have a mutually supportive goal. You may be able to help your landlord by and realtor by showing the home till you move out. What would help even more for you is a consultation with me to determine if you can buy yourself a new home.

Let's assume a deed in lieu:

In this situation, the landlord is trying to give the home back to the bank. The bank can refuse if the home is occupied, so your landlord needs you out, but obviously does not have much money with which to entice you to leave. On the other hand, a deed in lieu is much better from him than a foreclosure. Here again is where a consultation with me as to whether you can buy and develop a date certain for when you can leave would come in handy. We can met with your landlord and work out an exit strategy for him that should give him time to avoid a foreclosure and succeed with his deed in lieu plans.

Adrianna, if you want more personalized advice, getting it such an open forum may jeopardize your privacy. I invite you to call me at 408-639-0211 if you want more specific help. Or you can email me at mitchell@handsonrealtor.com.

By the way, your landlord might be a woman, so he also refers to her and she in all the above.

Good luck, I look forward to your call.

Mitchell Pearce
1 vote
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Oct 23, 2012
You might want to call the City of San Jose Department of Housing 408-975-4480.
1 vote
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Hi Adriana,

As Charles has commented, this is really a legal matter; however, here a few links you might want to review to get a better understanding of your options:

CA's "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" - need to know info!


CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs Landlord-Tenant Guide:

1 vote
charles butt…, Agent, san jose, CA
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Thank you for your question:

This is a legal question.

There are potentially several legal issues that may be involved.

I recommend that you talk with an Attorney.

If you cannot afford an Attorney I recommend that you contact The Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County. They have a housing section that is very good. The Attorneys in the housing section are excellent .

The contact information for the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County is:

480 N 1st Street
San Jose, California
Telephone: (408)998-5200

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address: charlesbutterfieldbkr@yahoo.com
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Please do not shoot the messenger;
It has been my experience that the Landlord usually ends up with the CASH:

You don't know who the Lender or the Listing Agent is, you don't know how to contact them.
The Listing Agent will knock on your door and if he catches you, he will make the offer to you.
But if he misses you, or if he CALLS, he will contact the Owner, (That would be the phone number he has; not yours.)

Do you think the Owner will pass the money on to you? Not likely!

As far as moving; the Tenant Rights Act gives a RENTER 30 days. And it should come from the new owner , the Bank, or the Listing Agent. If the Old Owner is telling you that, you should be skeptical. You should also be given a pice if paper, not a verbal notice.

Is there a Real Estate Company sign on the front lawn yet? If so, call that number.

I don't know if I have helped. Good luck and may God bless
1 vote
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