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Renters are hurt by the foreclosure situation, too.

If a landlord rents out a home or other property and is facing foreclosure, the tenant may not be allowed to stay on the property. Also neither the landlord nor the bank is legally obligated to let the tenant know about the foreclosure. Most of the time, the renter is told about the foreclosure when the party is being told to leave the property.

rental home
Many times, tenants who are on a fixed income and who are evicted on short notice may have a lot of trouble finding another place to live. Plus, they may not have the finances for the move. A tenant may have trouble coming up with the security deposit for a new place to live and they may never get back the security deposit from the foreclosed landlord. Some people have continued to pay the landlord rent even though the landlord does not own the property anymore.
Before you rent...
  • To find out if your rental is in foreclosure you can contact your local Assesors Office

    To find your local Assessor's office select your county

  • When you are sure the party requesting the lease and payments is the legal owner, you want to verify the property is not in the foreclosure process. Write down the parcel number s you search for other documents.
  • Where are two (2) document types to look for; DEFAULT means the property owner is delinquent with the mortgage holder. And NOTICE OF TRUSTEE SALE means the property is in foreclosure.
  • The landlord may not charge more than the value of three (3) months rent as a security deposit..
  • Use a licensed professional property manager whenever possible.The broker should keep the deposits in a trust account. The owner can request that the deposits go directly to him or her (owner), but you, as the tenant, have to agree to that in the contract. In order to protect the deposits, it’s recommended that you require that the deposits stay with the broker in the broker’s trust account. That money then becomes refundable to you if you are asked to vacate a foreclosed property – as long as any other terms or refund (i.e., cleaning deposit) are met.
What else can you do to protect yourself?
  •  According to the Las Vegas Sun, there is a tactic you can use to help ensure you are notified of the start of the foreclosure process, which usually takes about four months to complete.

  • If the renter records the lease, with the parcel number affixed, in the county recorder’s office, the bank assuming that property through foreclosure proceedings should come across the document. Apprised of the existence of the renter, representatives of the bank would then be expected to notify the occupants of the ongoing proceedings. Recording the lease costs $14 for the first page and $1 per additional page, plus $25 if the documentation isn’t in the format required by the recorder’s office.”

  • Set aside funds for initial expenses related to renting, such as first and last month’s rent, utility deposits, and moving expenses.  For help with budgeting, contact a housing counselor.

If you find yourself a victim of an unknown foreclosure, you may sue for damages in small claims court. 

Find out if your rental is in foreclosure

A new resource for renters is Rental Foreclosure.

  • This a free service, started by a real estate agent, that helps people determine if the house they are living in is in default on its mortgage. Just enter the property's address, city, state and county into the site, and the website will cross-reference – for free - that information against a foreclosure list for that state.

  • If you enter information and it returns no results, the site gives you the option of entering your e-mail address. Then, should the property go into default, the site will e-mail you with that information. Rental Foreclosure is currently running in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Illinois.


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