Landlords in foreclosure in California
We’ve all heard the stories and read the headlines about landlords in foreclosure resulting in a lot of stress and uncertainty for their tenants. As tenants, do you have rights if your landlord is in foreclosure? YES. You do, and if a new California law passes landlords may actually have a much larger responsibility of disclosure and may be subject to hefty fines for not disclosing they are a landlord in foreclosure.
California is considering SB 1191 Residential Tenancies, notices of default. Here’s a recap:
This bill would require certain landlords (offering property with one to four units) who have received a notice of default to disclose that notice to any prospective tenant prior to entering into a lease agreement for the property. A violation would allow the tenant to void the lease or be punishable by a minimum financial penalty of two months’ rent.
I deal with tenants all the time in homes that are in default. Often the owners were working with the bank to modify their loans, and most I know, have done all the right things but due to circumstances i.e. a job change, relocation, new marriage, or other personal/family issues have forced them to make a move. Often they were able to keep up the mortgage payments on the rental despite them owing more on their monthly mortgage than the rents will bear, until circumstances changed. For some, that change may have been in the form of a job loss, a new baby necessitating time off work, increase in loan payments, a loan reset, or simply a denial of a modification request.
Right now, tenants in California do have substantial rights when facing landlords in foreclosure and very often a lease will survive a foreclosure unless the new owner will be moving into the home. There have been quite a few times I’ve facilitated the short sale to an investor who elected to keep the same tenant in place. Win-win for all.
Here’s an article for more information about Landlords in Foreclosure: California considers hefty fines for landlords who hide default.
This is important as there are many investors in Contra Costa facing default on their tenant occupied properties. Contra Costa short sales include many tenant occupied homes.