Housing Consumer Education Center – September 2012 Newsletter

Tenants Facing Foreclosure

(From Housing Assistance Program)

  1. Do I have to move as soon as my building is foreclosed?

No one can force you to move without a court order. If your landlord loses the building through a foreclosure, you become a tenant of the new owner. The new owner must go through a court eviction process to make you move out.

  1. What happens to my lease after foreclosure?

Leases end with foreclosure and you then become a tenant-at-will. If the new owner wants you to move, the new owner must give you a notice to quit. If you do not leave by the end of the notice period, the new owner must go to court to get an eviction.

  1. Does it make a difference if I get Sec 8?

Yes. Leases of tenants whose rent is subsidized under either state or federal program are not ended by the foreclosure. The new owner will have to follow the lease terms in order to make you move.

  1. What if I don’t have a lease?

Your tenancy is not automatically ended by the foreclosure. You are still a tenant. The new owner will have to follow the usual procedures to make you leave.

  1. Should I take an offer of money to move out quickly?

Generally, no. Take a hard look at what is being offered. You may do much better by waiting and going to court. Offers of ‘cash for keys’ are not official programs, and you do not have to agree. Is the money being offered you enough to move? Do you have a decent affordable place to move to? If not, going through court will usually give you more time to find another place. You may be able to negotiate for more money.

  1. Can I ask the court for more time to move?

Yes. You can ask the court for up to six months to leave, or up to a year if you are at least 60 years old or disabled—provided you are not being evicted for non-payment of rent or for other misconduct, and you have been unable to find another place to live.

  1. After foreclosure is the new owner responsible for repairs and utilities?

Yes. After a foreclosure, the new owner is responsible for the same things as the old owner. If the old owner was responsible for certain utilities, then the new owner is, too. If repairs are needed, notify the new owner in writing, and keep a copy for yourself. If you don’t know who the new owner is, get in touch with anyone who may have given you papers about the foreclosure. It might be a real estate agent or a lawyer for the new owner. It’s also a good idea to call your local code enforcement agency.

  1. Should I pay rent after foreclosure?

Yes. That will preserve your right to ask the court for more time to move. If the new owner doesn’t accept your rent, save the money and do not spend it. Offer to pay your rent in a letter to the new owner, or their agent, and keep a copy for your records. Don’t pay rent to the old landlord once there has been a foreclosure sale.

The Massachusetts Just Cause Eviction Law was passed in August 2010. It protects tenants in bank-owned foreclosed properties. In most cases, a bank cannot evict you or pressure you to leave unless it has ‘just cause’.

‘Just cause’ includes not paying rent, disturbing other residents, creating a nuisance, not allowing the landlord in to make repairs.

The bank must give you a written notice 30 days after the foreclosure telling you:

▪ the name, address, and phone number of the bank

▪ the name, address and phone number of the person in charge of repairing and managing your building

▪ the address where you should send your rent

The notice must be posted where everyone in the building will see it, and sent to you and also slid under your door.

New England Subsidized Housing

Looking Beyond Mass. For Housing

Following is a list of housing authorities in Vermont for those willing and interested in approaching subsidized housing outside of Massachusetts:

Vermont State Housing Authority 802-828-3295

Barre Housing Authority 802-476-3185

Bennington Housing Authority 802-442-8000

Brattleboro Housing Authority 802-254-6071

Burlington Housing Authority 802-864-0538

Hartford Housing Authority 802-295-5047

Montpelier Housing Authority 802-229-9232

Rutland Housing Authority 802-775-2926

St. Albans Housing Authority 802-527-1490

Springfield Housing Authority 802-885-4905

Winooski Housing Authority 802-655-2360

Waiting lists outside of Massachusetts may be shorter than those within the Commonwealth.

NEARLISTINGS.ORG

NEARLISTINGS.ORG is a service provided by Community Teamwork whereby landlords and tenants can hook up. Landlords have access to the site in order to post new apartment listings. Tenants can go on and search for an apartment that suits their specific needs. There are currently 55 postings on the site from Lowell and from surrounding communities. The listings give very detailed information about the available units and often have photographs showing the interior of the units. NEARLISTINGS is easily accessible on-line.

 

Upcoming CTI Events & Workshops

Apartment Search/Smart tenant Workshop     Thur. Sept 13  10-11 AM

Foreclosure Prevention                                       Every other Thursday for  2  hours from 5:30 to 7:30 PM . To register, call 978-0600 x3

Employment and Training    1st and 3rd Wednesdays 10AM -11 AM

To register for a workshop, call 978-654-6691.

Financial Workshops conducted each day at noon and on Wednesdays at 5 PM for those clients applying for financial assistance.

Free legal Advice, 4th Wednesday of each month. The opportunity to meet with a legal services attorney. You must sign up in advance by contacting the Housing Consumer Education Center at 978-459-0551.

Subsidized Housing Workshops                Sept 12    5:30 PM (English)

Sep 19   Wed. 11 AM (Spanish);

GED Classes—Ongoing Enrollment  Contact Yolande Pere at 978-654-5719 or Yolande Pere at 978-654-5719.

Veteran’s Benefits Workshop          Tue Sep 11; Tue Sep 25 10-11 AM

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS:

Adult Education of Lowell:                           978-937-8989

Amesbury Community Action                     978-282-1000

Bonnie CLAC (Car Loans)                             1-866-455-2522

Cambodian Mutual Asso.                            978-454-6200

Catholic Charities (Lowell)                            978-452-1421

Catholic Charities (Lawrence)                     978-685-5930

Chelmsford Housing Authority                      978-256-7425

Christmas in April                                            978-458-7816

Coalition for a Better Acre                            978-970-0600

Community Action of Haverhill                    978-373-1971

Community Action of Lawrence                 978-681-4900

Elder Services of Merrimac Valley                978-683-7747

Good Walk Friday                                          978-927-5847

GRIP Project                                                    978-458-3622

 

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