Cash for Keys for Tenants

Keys to HouseIf you are a tenant living in a house that is in foreclosure it can be stressful and uncertain.  You can feel helpless since you seemingly have no control over your future housing fate.  Whether you take “Cash for Keys” to move or decide to stay in the house as long as possible, being informed of your rights and options will help.

The House I Am Renting Is Being Foreclosed – What Should I Do?
You don’t really have to worry until the house actually sells.  It will take a long time usually for the auction to actually happen.  Once it does, if the bank wants you out, they will come knocking and leave a note on the door.  When the bank’s representative or the new owner approaches you, they usually will want you to move out as soon as possible and may try to threaten and scare you.  You should stand firm and negotiate with them knowing your rights.

Your Rights As A Tenant After A Foreclosure:
You have the right to stay for the duration of your lease.  The one exception to that rule is if the house was sold to someone who is going to move in and live there, the new owner can give you 90 days notice to move (unless your state requires more notice).  In other words, the shortest possible time that you would have to move out after the sale is 90 days.  However, keep in mind that you do have to pay rent to the new owner on time every month and abide by all other terms of the lease.  Familiarize yourself with the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 and its amendments when dealing with the bank’s representatives.

Cash For Keys:
If your lease will be up soon, if you do not want to stay for any reason, or if you are not terribly attached to the house and would be happy to move for some cash, you should consider taking a cash for keys offer.  Try to negotiate with them and hold out for a better offer than the initial one.  Also, be sure to get your security deposit back.

Whether you decide to stay in the house or accept cash for keys, don’t let the bank or its representatives bully you.  You know your rights — the decision is yours to make.

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