Brianne, I got news for you--your landlord has most likely NOT been paying his mortgage for months while he still collects rent from you!! Investor's are defaulting on properties, stalling lenders for months with the promise of resolution and then letting them all go to "Sale"/ foreclosure. In the meantime they are collecting thousands and thousands of dollars in rent without ever once notifying their tenants of their rather shaky financial picture OR the tenants shaky tenancy.
I do many REO's and have offered "Cash for Keys" to see if a tenant will vacate the rental in a quick, timely manner. The amounts vary from Bank to Bank but $4,000 to $1,000 is not uncommon. However, I've had many immigrant tenants with a language barrier who rely on their landlord for advice and assistance as they perceive them as friends. These landlords, who NO LONGER OWN THE PROPERTY, want the money I'm offering to the tenant for early vacancy! When I tell them this is for the tenant as they now occupy the Bank's property, the ex-landlord states he'll "make sure they get it!" The poor tenants are out relocation funds while the landlord even collects from them rent on a property he NO longer owns.
I even had one ex-landlord, who is an agent who sells many REO's in my marketplace, burst open a door to a condo exclaiming to the tenants to immediately vacant the premises! I had given the tenants a Cash for Keys letter the day before and when confronted with this letter he backed down and left with his tail between his legs! But I see this all the time. The exploitation of tenants is a cold, callous by-product which landlord/investor's bring on to these trusting folks. Some landlords obviously try to work with their tenants but this, in my experience, seems far and few between!
Now back to your question-excuse the rant! New laws passed in California give you 60 days to vacate. However, if you are offered relocation funds in the guise of Cash for Keys think about taking advantage of this "move-out" money windfall. Call your landlord and demand a refund of your security deposit! He's NOT going to evict you in 3 weeks! And don't fall for his BS! I've had landlords look their tenants in the eye and say he was pulling it out of foreclosure and they have paid him his rent only to be notified the property WAS foreclosed upon. However, the risk remains that the landlord could, at the last minute, snatch the property from foreclosure. If this is the case then he could proceed to give you a 30 days notice to vacate. But I would at least get in communication with him or her.
If it does go to foreclusre then I'd sue the landlord in small claims court for the security deposit. Most landlords go out of their way to tell you the security deposit is NOT last months rent!! So I'm sure he has it in an interest bearing account for you!! NOT!
But understand this--the bank does NOT want you as a tenant. They want the property vacated so they can prepare it for market. You will NOT be able to stay on the subject property beyond the current time frames allotted for tenants in a foreclosure situation which is 60 days from the date the bank takes ownership. Start looking or think about buying!! Some incredible prices out there today!