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I'm a tenant (m2m) and my landlord filed bkrptcy and home was foreclosed on. We have new owners, what are our rights?

Kirkland, WA |

To date, our previous landlord has not been forthcoming at all. The only reason we knew she stopped paying the mortgage was that we got a notice from the Credit Union after about 6 months of non-payment. She filed for bankruptcy and the foreclosure went through. A new family purchased the home the same day the last meeting was to take place (I'm not sure if it went to auction, no one will tell me) with the intention of moving in and renovating ASAP.

At first, the new owners seemed to want to keep things amicable, but their lawyer is pursuing 60 days eviction. Our previous landlord still has not sent over our previous leases (it's been 2 weeks) and their attorney is now threatening 21 days. Today we were given rental applications. I think they're fishing for eviction reasons. Any advice?

They've never given any indication they wanted to continue renting to us previous to today's rental application request. Our previous landlord also is going to shut off the power (it's in their name), and the new owners don't feel that it would be necessary to keep the power on. However, we are on a well and shut off of power also means shut off of water. Any help would be greatly appreciated, this has all moved so quickly. Thank you!

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

Please google PL 111-22 which will answer some of your questions. The reason the attorney may be threatening 21 days is because he may think you are not a bona fide tenant - in other words, that the previous owner was your sister-in-law, or something like that.

I have a legal guide on Tenant's Remedies Post-Foreclosure; if this property was not foreclosed they may not apply to you. In the worst case, if you do not have a lease, then the new owner *could* give you a 20day notice of termination of tenancy and if you did not leave, then they could commence an eviction.

But (and this is a BIg but) - a 20 day notice has to be served on you , the tenants, allowing at least 20 days until the end of the rental period before they have standing to evict you. If you would normally pay rent on the first, the notice *has* to arrive on or before the 10th to be effective on the 31st. Lawyers who do not regularly practice landlord tenant law in WA miss this requirement. If you were to receive a 20-day notice today, for example, the only thing you'd be responsible for would be to be on your way on or before August 31. It is too late in the month to ask you to leave pursuant to a 20-day in July.
So I doubt they are fishing for reasons, they don't need a reason if you don't have a lease.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you need more assistance. Elizabeth Powell

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3 comments

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Posted

If they shut off your power, give them notice in writing as soon as you can. Landlords in WA can never shut off power (except briefly to make repairs) and a tenancy without water is not a tenancy. They would be making a terrible error if they shut off your power. If that happens, give them notice in writing to knock it off, and get the power turned back on. E Powell

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much Elizabeth! I really appreciate the resources you have provided me. We do have leases, but our landlord has not provided them to the new owners as far as we know. I will keep trying to get her to send them over. There are 9 other people being affected by this, so I really appreciate the help. Thanks again!

Asker

Posted

If its the old landlord shutting the power off then really your only solution is to get it turned on in your name. You cannot force him to keep it in his name if he doesnt even own the residence anymore and you cannot force the new owners to put it in their name.

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