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If I'm a tenant that got foreclosed on, are we entitled to our deposit? If so who who returns it, the previous owner or new one?

San Diego, CA |

A week before the December rent was due we got a letter saying the unit was going to be auctioned off. We agreed with our landlord not to pay December rent because he claimed it was mistake he was going to fix and then we would pay. The unit got auctioned off two weeks later as noted in the letter and our old landlord will not return our calls or emails. Can we still hope to get that original deposit back?

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Attorney answers 3


One can hope! Your security deposit is the personal obligation of your landlord, not the new owner. The only exception would be if your landlord gave the new owner the deposit amount and notified you that the new owner was, in the future, going to be responsible for your security deposit. I assume that didn't happen here. As such, the new owner is not responsible for the security deposit. You can sue your landlord in small claims court for the return of the money if you serve him with a complaint. He will be entitled to an offset for any rent he applied the security deposit to.


virtually no chance of getting it from a foreclosed landlord. you have a right to it though and perhaps a shot at penalties

Responses to Avvo questions are based on a general discussion of the law and in no way constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created, and you should not take or fail to take actions based on my answers. Consult an attorney in your area. Time is often of the essence. Act quickly!


As stated above, your old landlord is responsible for returning your deposit, but his inability to pay the mortgage does not bode well for you getting it back.

But you are still liable for December's rent. It was due on the first, and you did not pay it. Your landlord's directive not to pay it does not mean you do not still owe it. It just means that he could not turn around and give you a three-day notice when you did not pay it on the first.