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How long do I have to move out of a foreclosed home that I'm only renting a room in?

Los Angeles, CA |

I've been renting a room in a house that I just found out was sold in foreclosure when they tried to break in today. I had no prior notice of this foreclosure up until now. I have been paying the landlord month to month and he never mentioned anything about it.

They said it was now bank owned and I don't have the same rights renting a room as someone renting the whole house. No one else but me lives here now though.

I only have a receipt for the 1st months rent, and a canceled check for the last month as proof of tenancy as most months I just payed cash and didn't get a receipt. I really hope I don't have only a couple days to pack up all my things and find somewhere else to live.

Attorney Answers 2


No, you have more than just a couple of days to move out.

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA), part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-22, approved May 20, 2009), requires that tenants residing in foreclosed residential properties be provided notice to vacate at least 90 days in advance of the date by which the immediate successor, generally, the purchaser, seeks to have the tenants vacate the property. Except where the purchaser will occupy the property as the purchaser's primary residence, the terms of any bona fide lease also remain in effect.

Here, since you are saying the bank is the new owner the exception of owner-occupied does not apply. Alhough you do not have an unexpired lease, you are nevertheless entitled to 90 days notice.

Unfortunately, there are no enforcement provisions under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. The Act was intended to be “self-executing”, which means no federal agency (such as HUD) is responsible for enforcement. It is up to advocates to make sure that tenants, landlords, public housing authorities, courts, the legal community, and others involved in the foreclosure process are aware of these new rights for tenants.

Therefore, if you as a tenant have not been given the full 90 day notice, you can only assert the landlord's failure to do so in responding to an unlawful detainer complaint.

Following the passage of Senate Bill 1149 in 2010, new protections for tenants of foreclosed homes took effect in California on January 1, 2011.

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There is a law that will protect any tenant when the property they are leasing ends up in a foreclosure or bankruptcy.
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, Pub. L. No. 111-22, §§ 701-704 (2009), which became law on May 20, 2009, applies to state eviction proceedings. The act requires that a new owner who took title to residential rental property through foreclosure must honor existing leases until the end of the lease term.

There are three exceptions to this rule: 1) if there is an existing term lease and the new owner wants to occupy the foreclosed property as a personal residence before the end of the lease term, 2) if there is an existing term lease with less than 90 days to the end of the lease term, or 3) if the existing lease on the foreclosed property is a month-to-month tenancy or a tenancy at will. In each of these cases, the owner must provide the tenant at least 90 days notice to terminate the tenancy.

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Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.

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