Don’t Panic, Get Informed
As a renter, it can be a jarring experience to learn that your building is in foreclosure but there’s no use in panicking. Instead, get informed. Ask your landlord for regular updates on any developments about the foreclosure proceedings. If you’re unable to get in touch with your landlord - or if she refuses to communicate with you - monitor the foreclosure process online by checking public records.
Knowledge Is Power - Protect Yourself
It may be something you’ve never given much thought to but you do have rights as a tenant. Laws vary from state to state so you will need to check your local and state law codes or speak to an attorney. Prepare by bringing a copy of your lease with you to your free consultation as well as your questions. For example, you may be wondering:
- What are your specific protections as a tenant living in a foreclosure property?
- What is the process for foreclosure and how much time do you have to make a decision about your next step?
- How long do you have to move out after the foreclosure is completed?
Stick to Your Lease
While it may be very stressful to pay rent on a lease you’re not sure will continue on for much longer, do not give in to the temptation to stop paying rent or in any other way breach your lease. As long as you continue to abide by the contract, you are legally allowed to remain in the property during foreclosure proceedings. If you do stop paying or breach the contract, your landlord has the right to file an eviction or other legal action against you. This is also a good time to share that if your landlord breaches the contract, you are entitled to take legal action against them.
Thanks to modern legislation, most tenants with leases will keep their leases, and month-to-month tenants will have at least 90 days to relocate. Again, all of the details of what you’re legally entitled to do are determined by your location and the specifics of your contract so it’s best to run your questions by an attorney.
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
There are few things in life more frustrating than dealing with a foreclosure that isn’t even yours. We have helped many people in this very situation so we understand the stress it puts you under, through no fault of your own. The best thing you can do, in addition to the steps listed above, is to speak with an attorney about your specific circumstances to determine the best course of action. We urge you to take advantage of our free consultation now. We can help you to understand and enforce your rights.