If your apartment was foreclosed and the building has a new owner, that person or bank will become your new landlord. The new owner might ask you to move out or try to evict you, but you don't have to leave right away. You have rights.
The new owner must give you at least 90 days’ written notice to move.
If you have a written lease, the new owner must let you stay until the end of your lease or give you 90 days’ written notice to move out – whichever is longer. If you refuse to move after that, the landlord can start an eviction against you.
If you don’t have a written lease, the new landlord must give you at least 90 days’ written notice if he or she wants you to move out. If you haven’t moved out after the deadline in the notice has passed, the landlord can start an eviction against you.
If the new owner is Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (Federal National Mortgage Association or Federal Home Loan Corporation), you must be offered a new month-to-month lease at least until the property is sold to the next owner.
If you are at least 62 years old or you have a disability (mental or physical) that is expected to last at least 12 months and you live in a building with five or more units, you can only be evicted if there is a good reason (also called good cause). An example of good cause would be that you didn’t pay your rent or you didn’t follow your landlord’s rules for the building. A foreclosure is not considered good cause. You also qualify for the good cause rule if a close family member (a spouse, brother or sister, parent, grandparent, or child) lives with you in the apartment and is at least 62 years old or disabled.
Cash for keys
Sometimes the bank will offer you money to move out earlier than you have to. This is often called cash for keys. The bank is not required to make this offer and can instead wait until your time to move has expired. But if the bank does offer cash for keys, the offer must be at least the highest of
- two months’ rent;
- two times the security deposit; or
A bank can offer you more than these amounts, and you can try to bargain for more. If the offer is less than these amounts, call the Attorney General's office at 860-808-5318.
Pay rent to the new owner with a check or money order. Always write on the memo line of the check or money order, “Rent in full for month of __________.” If you can’t find the new owner or the new owner won’t accept your rent, keep a record of when and how you tried to pay, and put the rent money aside in a safe place. If the new owner tries to evict you for not paying rent, show the court your records.
Your Section 8 voucher
If you have a Section 8 voucher, the new owner has to take over your lease and honor the contract with the housing authority. Make sure you tell your housing authority about the foreclosure. If you have Section 8, you may be able to renew your lease. Talk to your worker.
Repairs and utilities
The new owner must provide the same repairs, maintenance, and utilities as your old landlord.
If the new owner doesn’t make repairs, call your town housing or building code agency and make a complaint. See our article, Tenants’ Rights: Repairs.
If the new owner stops paying heat or utilities that were part of your rental agreement with the old owner, call the utility company right away and tell them about the situation. If the utility company won’t turn your utilities back on, call your local code enforcement office. Call 2-1-1 if you need help getting that phone number. Also see the legal aid booklet, Utility Problems with Landlords.
Your security deposit
Whoever owns the property when you move out must return your security deposit. It doesn’t matter if your old landlord didn’t give your deposit to the new owner. When you move out, write a letter to the new owner with your new address and a copy of the security deposit receipt (if you have it). Mail your letter by regular mail and by certified mail with a return receipt requested. Keep a copy of the letter. If you’re not sure who the owner is, mail the letter to the bank's attorney, realtor, or anyone else who has contacted you.
The owner has 30 days after you move to return your deposit, along with interest. If you have problems getting your deposit back, you can file a claim in small claims court. You can also call the State Banking Department at 860-246-8154 or 1-800-831-7225 ext. 8154. For more information, see the legal aid article, Security Deposits and Rent Increases.