So I'm currently renting a house and I got notifcation yesterday that the house is being sold in an aution in

Asked by Brianne, Santa Rosa, CA Fri Aug 22, 2008

3 weeks. We have heard nothing from our landlord and have been paying our rent. What should I do? Do I continue to pay our landlord? How much time do we have to move out? Will it be possible to get my security deposit back from our landlord? And we will have an eviction on our record if we don't pay our landlord? Thanks

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Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Thu Sep 4, 2008
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!
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So should I wait until the bank contact us
Flag Thu May 7, 2015
Great info... another questions... the home i was renting for over 1 1/2 years is going up for auction in Jan 2013.. what do i do now... just wait... I told the owner we are no longer paying rent but what do we do now...
Flag Wed Oct 17, 2012
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Fri Aug 22, 2008
Hello Brianne. I am sorry to hear you are facing this situation. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people facing the same problem these days. I'll try to answer you questions in the order you mentioned them in your post.
First, in CA you are entitled to 60-day notice as a tenant of a foreclosed property. If the property goes back to the bank at the foreclosure sale (trustee sale), the bank may offer you cash for keys in exchange for an early move-out date.

While you'd be entitled to a return of your security deposit at the end of the lease, I would not count on you getting the money back any time soon. You should contact your landlord and ask that question. Whether you should keep paying your rent is a legal question. By law, you are probably obligated to keep paying as long as you occupy the premises. Frankly, I doubt very much that your landlord is interested in evicting you with the trustee sale only 3 weeks away. If you don't pay, the landlord can give you a 3-day notice to pay or quit and you can still avoid an eviction pay just paying. So I would not worry about having an eviction on your record. It does not just happen without you having an opportunity to cure the default. I would highly recommend you contact your landlord and ask about the situation. Now is the time to work out an agreement. If I were a landlord facing foreclosure, I would not expect my tenant to keep paying rent. I'd feel pretty bad that they have to move because of the foreclosure, but I would also keep the tenant informed and not wait until they find out about the foreclosure because the notice of default was posted on their front door. Since you state that you have been paying your rent, it's obviously not your fault that the house went into foreclosure. Good luck to you.
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Laura Perrym…, Agent, Pensacola, FL
Fri Aug 22, 2008
When a buyer purchases a house they are also purchasing any existing leases.
An auction does not mean the house is foreclosed. If you are expected to vacate you are required to be given notice and unless it is a foreclosure the buyer or seller may decide to buy you out of your lease.

You do need to pay your rent.
The security deposit issue is dependent upon whether you have fullfilled the terms of your lease agreement, not whether the house gets sold.

A lot depends on whether this is a foreclosure property. Who gave you the notice? Bank, Realtor or owner?

Feel free to contact me if you want to talk through this issue.


Laura N. Perryman
Real Estate Direct
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The Wilder G…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Fri Aug 22, 2008
One more thing, you can probably find out who the current owner is on I'm not sure if there will be a lag time but it may help you pin down the new owner if the property is sold at auction. If the owner is trying to work out a deal with his or her lender, it might not be sold, Property Shark might also show you that the owner hasn't changed.

Good luck!
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The Wilder G…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Fri Aug 22, 2008
You should pay your rent on time until the three week period has passed. After that, you can check the tax records to find out who the current owner is, it should be a bank. Banks generally are not the best landlords since they are acquiring so many properties. However, if you are current on your rent, or if you make a reasonable attempt to locate the appropriate person, the terms of your lease will control how long you will be able to stay there and the eviction process.

To evict you, an owner has to serve you with the proper notice or go through the proper procedures. Otherwise, you have a right to stay there.

For more information, you should read this brochure prepared by the City of Santa Rosa -… This brochure also has information about self help clinics that you can visit to get more information about your rights in the event of an eviction.

You may be able to get your security deposit back in small claims court but the fact that your landlord is losing this property indicates that he or she is in a bad financial position. Even if you prevail, you may have trouble getting the landlord to comply with a court ruling to pay you back the security deposit.

Finally, the eviction will only be recorded if the landlord goes through the process of evicting you through the court. As the brochure states, credit reporting agencies often cull information about unlawful detainer proceedings from court records. This is why you should continue to try to pay. However, it seems unlikely that the landlord will evict you.
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