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Landlord is in Forclosure, what are my tenent rights?

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by loriinnc, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. loriinnc

    loriinnc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    North Carolina
    Hi,
    I found out that my landlord's house that I rent is in foreclosure, not by my landlord, but by a letter
    that came address to my house with her name or current occupant. So she has no idea I am aware of this situation. I thought it was weird, last week she came to me and my husband, and asked if she
    could move into our camper in the backyard and she would reduce rent, we just assumed she was
    having some personal problems where she is living, we politely told her, my mother in law wants us to sell the camper and we were sorry. Then yesterday we received that foreclosure letter, and today she
    called and left voicemail, "that due to reasonings she has to raise our rent by $100.00". We are are so distraught and very upset. We have always been great tenants, paid on time and kepted her house perfect. We have an 8 year old and we take care of my mother in law, who is under hospice care.

    Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanking you in advance,
    Worried in NC
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2017
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Previously there was a federal law to protect tenants caught in a foreclosure, however this law expired as of December 31st, 2014.
    ...
    However, your home is in NC.
    ...
    There is also North Carolina state law which applies in specific circumstances to tenants’ rights at foreclosure.
    ...
    IF North Carolina law were to apply to a tenant’s rights at foreclosure, it is necessary to know if the residential property contains less than fifteen (15) rental units or fifteen (15) or more rental units.

    Your property appears to contain fewer than fifteen (15) units (because it is a single family home) the tenant can, upon notice of foreclosure sale, terminate his lease by giving the landlord written notice of termination at least ten (10) days after the notice of sale.

    The property in which you reside is a single family home and the tenant doesn't to terminate his lease, the tenant must be given ten (10) days notice prior to eviction.

    Because the federal law expired three years ago, you might want to negotiate with the lender to continue your tenancy while the foreclosure occurs.

    Some people are allowed to live rent free (or half of the current rent) to care for the property during foreclosure and the sale. The process can take between six to eighteen months.

    So, you still need to plan your exit strategy.

    In NC, the owner can decide to live in the property during the foreclosure process.
    I suggest you read the NC statute cited above, or speak with a NC attorney.

    Because the federal law expired (as noted above), your current legal options are limited.

    If, however, you possess a WRITTEN lease, the purchaser of the property must honor the remaining leasehold.

    You appear to be in an at-will tenancy, month-to-month, covered by state law.
    If that's your situation, your leverage is severely limited.
    You might want to explore your move out options, because your ability to stay is severely hampered.
     
  3. loriinnc

    loriinnc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you so much for your quick response, and yes you are right, we are currently month to month with her.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That's unfortunate because NC statute 42-14 allows for termination of a month to month tenancy with at least 7 days notice prior to the end of the rental period.

    See:

    http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_42/GS_42-14.pdf

    The statute does not appear to require written notice.

    And a rent increase can be construed as a termination of the current rental agreement so if your current rental month ends at least 7 days from now I'm afraid you are stuck with the increase or decline it and move out by the end of the current rental period.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    In this case, the result MIGHT just be extremely fortuitous for our OP (and her fine family), mate.

    Some of my supposed "rainy days" turned out to sunny, warm, and bright!

    Escape clauses can be very useful when things get too restrictive or dicey.
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I suspect a voicemail is not sufficient means of increasing the rent. Personally, I would keep paying the previous agreed amount until notified in writing with however much notice is required by law.
     

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