Tag Archive for eviction

Tenants in foreclosure- The lease

Tenants in Foreclosure- The Lease

It has been a while since I’ve given an update on my situation. Quite honestly, I didn’t know that anyone was reading until last week when I was speaking to my friend, Nicole from Bank of America, and she told me she was dying to know what was going on. I was thrilled that someone was listening! I’m hoping others are too.

There is not much to update on my home. I am constantly in a state of feeling unsettled. We have begun to look for a home to purchase, but I think I’ll write about that in another post.

My landlord has been working with me after my strong response to his attempt to evict me from the home. I did offer to sign a six month lease with the landlord and continue to pay at the current rate that I have been. Why would I sign another lease when the home was still in foreclosure?

My lease coming up due put me in a hard situation. In July my landlord could have told me that he did not want to renew the lease and give me 30 days notice to move out. This would not have been in his best interest though because he would have a really hard time renting the home after I left. If her were to rent the home again he would legally be responsible for telling the new tenants that the home was in foreclosure.

The reason why I wanted to sign another lease was because it would allow for me to stay in the home longer if the home was sold due to the foreclosure. The new legislation provides for protection to tenants who are affected by a home sold due to foreclosure.

In Oregon, if you home is sold and you are a tenant here are the timelines you have to work with on moving out. The landlord or new owners have to provide you written notice that you need to move out:
• If you have a month to month rental agreement then you must be provided with a 90 day notice to move out.
• If you have a lease, then you are the best off because the new owner must allow you to stay in the home until the lease expires. The only way that you would not get the full lease time would be if the new owner intended to use the home as their primary residence. If that was the case then they would have to give you 90 day notice.
• If your lease is set to expire in less than 90 days, then the new owners still have to give you 90 days to move out.

So you can see that my having a lease is in my best interest to be able to stay in the home as long as possible. My concern with not having a lease was that I would have to move out of the home sooner. My existing lease did not default to a month to month contract once the lease expired so I without a lease or month to month contract I run the risk of having to leave sooner if the home is sold.

Even though my landlord told me on July 14 they would sign the 6 month lease I requested in my July letter they did not provide me with the new lease agreement until Aug 1. Since I felt that I had the upper hand here I requested some items in the lease that I would not have normally asked for including:
• There would be no security deposit on the home while it was in foreclosure. I agreed that if the home came out of foreclosure I would reinstate the security deposit within 30 days of notice.
• There would be no penalty for my terminating the lease prior to the end with 30 days notice. I felt this was important because due to the situation I am not forced to look for a home to purchase. If I find the perfect home before the lease is up I want to make sure that I can get out of the lease without penalty.

The landlord seems to have slowed in response, so as of right now I do not have a signed lease back from him. I’m not too concerned though because he has now accepted rents from me beyond the lease period which sets precedence for month to month contract.

Still, there is still a sale date set for August 23rd on the county steps. My next post will talk more about my gathering information from on the foreclosure.

Tenants in Foreclsoure- Threatened Eviction

Tenants in Foreclosure- Threatened Eviction

I utilized the form letter on http://foreclosurehelp.oregon.gov/DCBS/foreclosurehelp/docs/tenant_foreclosure_rights.pdf to draft a letter to my landlords letting them know that I would be applying my security deposit towards my July and half of the August rent. I sent the letter to them on the first of the month and within a couple of hours I had an email back from them saying that;
• The home was no longer in foreclosure
• The state and federal laws did not apply in this case
• Our agreement states that as long as we are in the home we need to pay rent
• That if we did not pay the rent by 9am on the 2nd they would send us a late notice and then if payment was not received within 7 days they would proceed with the eviction process

The landlord’s response was wrong on so many levels and I really didn’t know where to start so I just let it sit to see what they would do. Well, they did as they said and on the 2nd they sent a certified letter to my home saying that I was late and if I didn’t pay within 7 days they would expect my family to vacate the home.

Since the landlord was unlawful on so many different levels I really didn’t know where to start. I again spent the time calling their mortgage company, calling the trustee and even going to the county to verify the home was in fact still in foreclosure. The trustee and county have to provide the information because it is public record. The mortgage company on the other hand cannot tell you much unless they receive written authorization from the home owners. Still, if you keep your questions very general on the process they can usually give you some helpful information.

Everyone kept suggesting I retain an attorney to help, but I saw no reason why I should spend the money on an attorney to tell the landlords what I already knew. I really felt that I was so obviously right and they were so obviously wrong that this should be a battle I can manage on my own. Still, I did have some help from a friend who is a retired attorney to review my response before sending it off.

My response citing several laws landlord/tenant laws they were in violation. I started by research by turning to a book that I’ve used for year as a landlord titled Landlord/Tenant Rights in Oregon by Janay Ann Haas (http://www.amazon.com/Landlord-Tenant-Rights-Oregon-Janay/dp/1551804298/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280164763&sr=8-1 ). This gave me a good place to start and then I dug deeper into the legislation http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/090.html and it was very helpful, but rather cumbersome to find information in. My response:
• Again stated that I stood behind my July 1 letter and according to SB 952 and ORS 86.765 I am able to apply my security deposit towards the rent when the home is in foreclosure.
• Cited that our rental contract states that rent is not late until after 5pm on the fifth day of the month, so his demand for payment by 9am on the 2nd does not supersede that.
• ORS 90.385 prohibits a landlord from retaliating by servicing a notice to terminate tenancy or by bringing or threatening to bring action for possession after the tenant has performed or expressed intent to perform any other act for the purpose of asserting, protecting or invoking the protection of any right secured to tenants under any federal, state or local law. Under this we would be entitled to remedies provided under ORS 90.275.
• In addition to the wrongful notice mentioned ORS 90.394 and 90.155 and how they were not providing a proper nonpayment notice or following the correct timelines outlined in these statutes.
• I also let them know that according to our rental agreement we can seek for repayment of any attorney fees we incur in defending ourselves against their unlawful behavior.

The letter seemed to work because within a day or two I received an email from the landlords saying they were seeking legal council and would get back to us in a few days. A few days later they said they would continue renting month to month to us per the terms we had outlined in the letter.

A small victory. I still don’t know if and when the home will be sold for sure, possibly as soon as the end of August.

One thing I’ve been tackling with though is why have the landlords acted this way? I have been a model tenant and it seems they really do want to keep the home and continue to collect my rent payments. Are they are just desperate? Do they really not understand the situation they are in?