A law called The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) can help families facing eviction in a foreclosed building. The law requires the new owner (even if it is the bank) to give you at least 90 days notice before you have to leave.
If you are a tenant with a lease, the new owner must let you stay until at least the end of the lease term. The only way a lease can be terminated before the end of its term is if the unit is sold to someone that will actually be living in the unit. Even if the new owner is moving into the unit, the owner still has to give the tenant 90 days notice before the tenant has to leave.
If you are a tenant receiving Section 8, the new owner must honor your lease, and they have to follow any Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract between the previous owner and the housing authority. The foreclosure is not a valid reason for them to terminate your lease. If your new landlord tells you that your lease will be terminated, call your Section 8 worker immediately, and tell them what is happening.
If the new owner says you have to leave in less than 90 days, or, Before the end of your lease term:
• You can send a letter to the landlord telling them about the new law.
• You must continue to pay rent.
• Housing Court Answers provides information and help with procedures over the telephone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 212-962-4795. (They don’t provide legal representation.)
• You may want to speak to a legal services provider.
• If your income is at or under 125% of the Poverty Level, there is a local Legal Aid Office that can help you.
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, Pub. L. No. 111-22, §§701-704 (2009).
Written by Jeffrey Miles, Legal Intern with LawHelp/NY