rent a house from a landlord who told me that he bought the home as an investment a few years ago. From what I have read recently, this is the type of homeowner who may be facing foreclosure as a result of the collapse in housing values. I am concerned about my rights if the house I rent goes into foreclosure. Do I have to move if my landlord loses the house in a foreclosure sale?AC = -->
Your rights depend on whether or not you are a month-to-month tenant or you have a lease. For month-to-month tenants, if the property is returned to the mortgage holder or purchased by a new owner, a new California statute effective July 8, 2008, requires that you receive a 60-day written notice to move.
You have no right to remain in the house after the sixty-day notice expires, and if you don't vacate, you may find yourself being served as a defendant in an eviction case, called an unlawful detainer.
Tenants with unlawful detainer judgments on their records find it very difficult to persuade future landlords to rent to them. Tenants with leases can continue to remain in the property until their lease expires, but only in the very limited situation where the lease was signed prior to the mortgage.
This right to remain is stronger if a memorandum of the lease was also recorded with the county, but that is a very rare occurrence. Otherwise, a tenant with a lease is only entitled to the same 60-day notice after the foreclosure is finalized.
Sometimes, new owners or mortgage holders may be willing to compensate a tenant for moving early, offering what is known as "key money" or "cash for keys."
They may also be willing to let a tenant stay for a period of time, but any such extension should be in writing. Beware of paying rent to someone who has already lost the property in foreclosure or someone pretending to be the new landlord.
Jim W Hildreth-Mediator