It sounds like you've been scammed. The perpetrator is probably criminally liable if he is not the landlord nor an authorized agent for the landlord. You're going to need professional help from an attorney, and moreover, you probably need to file a police report as well.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
The federal Tenants Act of 2009 protects tenants and they are allowed 90 days before they are forced to move out. California extended this protection for tenants to the year 2019.
You have rights and are protected. For more information, you can read the federal tenant protection and California tenant protection laws on the links below.
Lenore Albert, Esq.
Cease paying any rent to the individual. Discontinue any communication with him.
Look up on the county property appraiser's website to see what the real owner's name is.
Take a copy of your written lease agreements and file them with the clerk of the courts.
Write in the upper right hand corner of the first page of the lease copy the court case number.
Also send a cover letter addressed to the judge with the court number in the upper right hand corner. If you don't have a written lease agreement, then put the information in the letter as to who was collecting rent, what the term of the lease was supposed to be, how much rent you were paying, etc.
Ask to be kept informed of the foreclosure proceedings.
Go to a local attorney and ask for a consultation.