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At what point during a foreclosure does the owner lose "standing" to file an unlawful detainer against their tenant?

North Hollywood, CA |

The property I live on sold at trustee sale on September 11th, but the owners contested the sale because they had recently filed for bankruptcy, even though a judge had already ruled on that matter & said the sale could proceed. As a result of this delay tactic, the deed to the property didn't transfer to the new owners until October 19th. In the meantime, the previous owners filed an unlawful detainer against me on October 3rd. Did they have standing to bring such an action, or did they lose that right on September 11th? Also, even if I lose my case, can I not ask the judge for a "Relief from Forfeiture" citing that the hardship caused to me by having to move certainly is greater than the absence of hardship on their side, since they no longer have any interest in the property whatsoever?

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Attorney answers 3


Once the landlord lost title to the property, the landlord lost standing to recover possession of the property. Remember, the unlawful detainer action is all about who is entitled to possession of the rental unit. If title transferred on October 19, that's when your former landlord lost standing to sue you in unlawful detainer. Under these facts, you should win your case, but you are going to have to bring into a court a CERTIFIED copy of the most recent deed showing the landlord is no longer the owner.

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Since the property did not transfer until October 19th (the 9/11 sale was stayed therefore the property did not transfer).

What was the basis of the UD action? Did you fail to pay rent? You will be responsible for rent until October 19th.

Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship


The Owners lost their right to commence an eviction when they filed for bankruptcy. At that point, the home became the property of the Bankruptcy Trustee, not the Owner. Once the lender was granted permission to continue the foreclosure and obtain a trustees Deed, they became the new owner. Most likely, they will begin an eviction process, but the former Owner has no standing as you correctly noted to file an eviction at this point, based on the facts you have presented.

This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Navaro & Associates LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.