Tenant Rights During Foreclosure

If you are a tenant remitting payment dutifully to your landlord each month, you assume that your landlord is just as dutiful in making the mortgage payment. Unexpectedly, however, you arrive home to find a foreclosure notice on your front door.

In the past, foreclosures invalidated existing leases, forcing tenants to move out on short notice; however, in May of 2009, tenants were finally given rights when the federal government passed the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.

This provides tenants who do not have a lease or those who have a month-to-month lease, to be given at least 90 days’ notice before they are required to vacate the property. If the tenant has a lease lasting longer than a month, this act permits tenants to remain in the home for the remainder of the lease.

It is only after the lease expires that eviction can proceed.

Please keep in mind, however, that if the buyer of the foreclosed property intends to use the home as a primary residence, he has the right to terminate the existing lease, but may only do so after providing the tenants with 90 days notice.

As with any situation similar to this, I would highly recommend that you speak with an attorney before speaking to the landlord or anyone else so that the facts and circumstances of your particular situation can be properly evaluated. Once you have the assurance you are seeking, and a game plan going forward, you will be able to make an informed decision for yourself and your family. Hopefully, you will never come home to find a foreclosure notice on your front door, but if you do, knowing your rights can help you make the best out of a bad situation.