Foreclosure And Tenants: Don’t Assume You Have No Say

While foreclosures are no longer happening at the rate they did during the recession, they still continue at a relatively steady pace. Caught between the banks or investors and the former owners, the home's tenants may have been paying their rent on time and in full only to find that their housing situation has been turned upside down. If you are a renter in just such a predicament, you need to see a lawyer such as James Alan Poe, P.A. immediately to ensure the new owners respect your rights.

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 gave renters stronger rights in order to combat the rising number of foreclosures and ensuing evictions. This law lasted five years and was later renewed. The law basically says you get a certain amount of notice if the new owner wants you out, and any leases in effect at the time of the foreclosure stay in effect. In other words, if the place goes into foreclosure, the bank can't tell you to leave until a few conditions have been met. In some states, banks have very little influence on renters because of stronger local laws.

Get Help Keeping Track of Who the Current Owner Is

Now you know that the house you had been renting has gone into foreclosure. You need to keep track of who the correct owner is and where to send rent. While your lease stays in effect and you can't be kicked out on a moment's notice, not paying rent to the right place can work against you and give the owners a reason to evict you. You could have to send it to the bank, an investment company, a management company, or someplace else. Because some banks just don't want to deal with tenants, you might not get updates on where to send rent. A foreclosure attorney can help you find the right company and address so that your rent stays current.

Habitability Problems

If it turns out that the new owner of your house doesn't want to do any upkeep and just hopes you'll leave, you may wind up with habitability problems. It's the owner's job, no matter who the owner is, to ensure that buildings remain habitable. It's also illegal for a landlord to deliberately make a place uninhabitable as a way to push out tenants. If you notice the building's quality is going downhill and things are left unrepaired, you may need to get a lawyer involved immediately.

Don't let yourself get lost in the shuffle. You need to protect your rights as your residence goes through foreclosure even if you weren't the previous owner.