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Help for Renters After Landlord's Foreclosure

It's one thing to know about your rights; it's another thing to know how to take advantage of them. Renters wondering how they can assert their right to remain in their home after the landlord has lost it to foreclosure can find answers from an online legal tool kit put together by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Housing Law Project. You don't have to have a low income to benefit from the information.

You'll find simplified explanations (as well as the full text) of the new law that went into effect May 20. It says tenants who pay their rent on time can remain in their home until the end of their lease, unless the bank sells the property to someone who intends to make it his own residence. Even without a lease, renters must be allowed to stay in their home for 90 days after the foreclosure. Jurisdictions with more stringent renter-protection laws won't see them loosened.

The site has simple question-and-answer explanations of what tenants should do if the new owner erroneously tells them they have to move out in less than 90 days. There also are sample letters that tenants can send to landlords, judges and public housing agencies when they need to assert their right to remain in the home.

One particularly useful bit of advice from the site: "If you receive an improper notice, you should give a letter to your landlord before the date for termination in the notice you received, and you should pay your rent. If you do not pay your rent, your landlord can serve you with a notice to pay rent or quit under your state law."

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  June 24, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Foreclosure  
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