Landlord Teminated Lease ?

Landlord Teminated Lease ??
We moved into a house in June 25 2008. I just found out that the landlord has let the house go into foreclosure as a notice of default was filed on 2/27/2009. The landlord showed up today and left a notice to terminate month to month lease, that gives us 30 days to find a new place and move. Can he do that? It seems to me that we are still in a 1 year lease agreement until the end of June 2009. Most likely his foreclosure process will be over May 27 and he will no longer be the owner. Also it is my understanding that if we have been here a year he must give us 60 days not 30 days. Side note, landlord has been unreachable as our heating and AC unit went out in October, and the house has flooded numerous times from rain.

2 thoughts on “Landlord Teminated Lease ?

  1. Re: Landlord Teminated Lease ??
    If you live in the City of Los Angeles, renters in good standing cannot be evicted because of a foreclosure.

    If you live anywhere else in California, renters get 60 days to move out in a foreclosure. (Also check your local city to see if they have a law similar to LA)

    If you signed your lease after your landlord took out the mortgage, the new owner does not have to honor your lease.

    If you signed your lease before your landlord took out the mortgage, it may still be valid and the new owner may have to honor the lease.

    Your landlord does not have to tell you the home you are renting is in foreclosure. But before the home is sold, a “Notice of Sale” must be posted at the home.

    The following notice must also be posted at the home and mailed to you:

    “Foreclosure process has begun on this property, which may affect your right to continue to live in this property. Twenty days or more after the date of this notice, this property may be sold at foreclosure. If you are renting this property, the new property owner may either give you a new lease or rental agreement or provide you with a 60-day eviction notice. However, other laws may prohibit an eviction in this circumstance or provide you with a longer notice before eviction. You may wish to contact a lawyer or your legal aid or housing counseling agency to discuss any rights you may have.”

    Keep in mind, your landlord must return your security deposit minus any lawful deductions, or transfer it to the new owner. If not, both the old and new owner are liable.

    In most cases, the new owner is the bank or lender that foreclosed on the property. They may offer you money to move out sooner than 60 days. This is called “Cash for Keys.” If you agree to this make sure the person has authority to make the offer and gives you the offer in writing.

    Our landlord-tenant legal services provides legal rights notices to landlord and banks on behalf of renters who are in your situation. If you would like us to draft a notice letter to your landlord our landlord tenant services offers this legal service for $150. this includes unlimited phone consultation.

    Yours truly,




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    Bryan C. Becker
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    1205 Prospect Street, Suite 400
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  2. Re: Landlord Teminated Lease ??
    First, his foreclosure will not be over May 27, 2009. If he received the Notice of Default on February 27, the period under that notice expires 90 days later, however, then a Notice of Trustee’s sale must be served and published. That notice is 20 days, but generally is more like 30 because of the requirements of publication. Further, a recent change to the law may add 90 additional days after the Notice of Default expires.

    Now, as to your lease, are you sure you signed a one year lease, and not a month-to-month lease. You need to go back and read the lease – its very likely that it is a month-to-month lease, unless you specifically agreed to a one-year term. If you signed a one year lease, then he cannot terminate your tenancy prior to June 24, 2009. If you have been in the house one year or longer, then yes, the landlord must give 60 days notice, however, you have not been there one year. One other item – the foreclosing bank is not in any way bound by the terms of the lease – your lease is effectively terminated on the day of the foreclosure sale.

    With respect to the issues of habitability, you need to consult with an attorney in your area – those are probably not problems that rise to the level of making the home inhabitable. Really, you have only two options with those problems if they make the home inhabitable or partially inhabitable; You can (following a very strict procedure) notify the landlord of the problem, give him a chance to fix it, and after a specific series of letters and notices, deduct repair costs from your rent and make the repair. You had better be sure, however, that they are truly habitability issues before doing so. Your other option, again if the problems render the house inhabitable, is to terminate the lease for breach of the warranty of habitability, and move.

    I’d suggest that unless you have a one-year lease, you begin looking for a new place to live. The bank is not likely to let you continue living in the home post-foreclosure, so I would suggest that this might be the best time to move on anyway.

    *Due to the limitations of the LawGuru Forums, The Gibbs Law Firm, APC’s (the “Firm”) participation in responding to questions posted herein does not constitute legal advice, nor legal representation of the person or entity posting a question. No Attorney/Client relationship is or shall be construed to be created hereby. The information provided is general and requires that the poster obtain specific legal advice from an attorney. The poster shall not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice nor as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence.

    David Gibbs
    The Gibbs Law Firm, APC
    110 E Avenida Palizada, Ste 201
    San Clemente, CA 92672-3956

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