This afternoon, a friend called me with a familiar lament.

“We just got a foreclosure notice on our front door,” he said. “What do we do now?”

Some of you might be wondering the same thing.

The U-T ran a helpful Q&A on this issue yesterday with a great local expert on these issues, Steven Kellman, founder of Tenants Legal Center.

The piece included this compelling stat:

In San Diego, 40 percent of the 16,000 foreclosed residential properties last year were rental units, which included single-family homes and apartments.

That’s a lot of displaced tenants.

This bit gave some good information on whether you have to move out right away:

Question: OK, my rental was sold as a foreclosure. Do I have to move out immediately?
Answer: No. Once the new owner, which in many cases is a financial institution, takes over, you can be evicted, but you still have some time. If you are on a month-to-month lease and you receive an eviction notice, you have 90 days until you have to move out.
If you have a lease, you can demand to stay in the property until the lease expires. The only exception to that is if the new owners of a single-family home plan to move in themselves.
Another thing to consider, San Diego is one of 16 cities that have a just-cause eviction ordinance, which means a landlord must have a specific reason for evicting a tenant. Foreclosure typically isn’t considered a legitimate reason to evict, said Gabe Treves, the program coordinator of Tenants Together. San Diego’s just-cause ordinance, however, only applies to those who have been renting a property for two years or more.

You can read the rest of the U-T piece here. Still looking for more displaced-tenant reading?

* In April, a caller to KPBS’s Editors Roundtable wondered if it was legal for his landlord to collect rent while in foreclosure. The answer: It depends. I filled in some rent skimming details in this post.

*A story in 2008 focused on the tenants displaced by a mortgage fraud scam where a man stole a college student’s identity to buy a house in Oceanside, then rented it out.

*And in 2006, we wrote about some of the first local tenants affected by the impending foreclosure wave. Those tenants were watching for how long their grass got: If the gardener’s came less frequently, they might have a reason to suspect foreclosure.


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