Renter Rights upon Landlord Foreclosure – Military Members

This article is intended for military members who may be renting an apartment or house which may be or is currently in foreclosure. Non-military members should click here for a summary of rental rights in the event of landlord foreclosure.

With the recent economic downturn, a large number of rental properties are in foreclosure status. This causes a major issue for the tenants renting these properties. Without knowing their rights, tenants may be forced out of properties even after paying their agreed rental payments.

This problem may disproportionately affect military members.  One source estimates 75% of military members rent their home. See Protecting Tenants: Forclosure Act of 2009 Benefits Military Renters, Military Hub July 7, 2009, http://www.militaryhub.com/article.cfm?id=77 (Last visited 14 November 2012). Military members facing a rental forclosure should be aware of their rights under three laws and benefits:

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

This 2009 Act gives tenants with a month-to-month lease a 90 day grace period after a foreclosure sale. Tenants with a fixed term lease cannot be evicted until the end of the lease term if the property is sold to an investor. However, the 90 day rule still applies to a fixed term lease if the property is sold to a purchaser who is going to occupy the home as a primary residence. If a tenant leaves a home within the 90 day period, say day 89, no eviction action may be filed by the new owner.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act – Eviction Protection Provision

SCRA provides important protections for tenants against non-judicial eviction. SCRA (50 USC Appx.) Section 531 prohibits a landlord from evicting any service member on active duty – which encompasses reserve and guard members on orders as well as permanent active duty members – without a court order. In fact, the SCRA applies the prohibition on non-judicial foreclosure to those with paramount title to the landlord as well. If the landlord is foreclosed upon, this protection would still provide the servicemember tenant protection from non-judicial eviction.  While the eviction protection is not absolute, Section 531 also provides for a stay of proceedings, thus amp

Joint Federal Travel Regulation – Chapter 5, Section 5, paragraph U5355-D3

If eviction due to foreclosure becomes inevitable, the Joint Federal Travel Regulation provides some financial relief, this documents authorizes a short distance household goods move for military members, or their dependants, who relocate from a foreclosed rental residence.

If you are a military member facing eviction due to landlord foreclosure, contact our team to discuss your options.

Dave represents clients in Minnesota on a range of legal issues, including civil litigation, business ventures, and creditor relations. He also has expertise raising capital to finance David v. Goliath cases. (Yes, pun intended!) Dave can be reached via email at dmadgett@madgettlaw.com

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