What are our rights as tenants if our property is being foreclosed on?

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What are our rights as tenants if our property is being foreclosed on?

Our lease is not up yet. Our property is managed by a real estate company. A bank owns the property. We are needing to know if we as the tenants have the right to stay here 9until our lease ends). Our names were not listed on the foreclosure papers.

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you names were not on the foreclosure papers, you may have legal grounds to prevent action being taken immediately to evict you, on grounds you were not properly joined in the legal action. This would typicially require the bank/lender to refile, naming you, so it's not a permanent fix, but could buy you some extra time.

Also, under the federal Helping Families Save Our Homes Act, if you have a written lease, you may generally stay through the end of your lease term unless whomever buys the home from the bank or at foreclosure sale intends to live in it as his/her primary residence, in which case I believe you only get 90 days. (Note that even if you can stay until the end of the lease term, there is  no obligation to renew your lease or give you more time beyond that.)

Therefore, if the bank attempts to  evict you, you may have a procedural defense, if they haven't properly named you in their legal action; and you may also have a substantive defense, from the Helping Families Save Our Homes Act. If you receive an eviction notice, you should speak with an attorney about the best way to vindicate your rights.

Note that you will have to keep paying rent to stay--to the bank, instead of the now-former landlord, once the property is foreclosed.


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