What are your Rights if your Landlord is in Foreclosure?

Tenant Rights Relating to Foreclosure As a tenant in residential premises in New Jersey you have the same rights if your landlord is in foreclosure as you do if your landlord is not in foreclosure. Just because the rental premises is the subject of a foreclosure proceeding does not mean you lose any rights as a tenant under New Jersey law. You have very strong rights as a tenant in New Jersey. Tenants in New Jersey have very strong rights under New Jersey law. Only a tenant in premises which is owner occupied and does not contain more than two rental units (i.e. a two or three family owner occupied building) can be evicted for other than "good cause" as defined by New Jersey law. All other tenants can only be evicted for "good cause" pursuant to the New Jersey anti-eviction act. The mere fact of a foreclosure of a property by a mortgage lender does not constitute "good cause" under the Act. These protections also apply if you rent a condominium or a single family home. These rights continue when the premises is in foreclosure. Your rights as a tenant do not end when the premises in which you are living is in foreclosure. A new owner, even a bank or someone who buys the property at a foreclosure sale, steps into the shoes of the prior owner, takes title to the property subject to your tenancy and has the same obligations under New Jersey law as the old owner. Only if the new owner intends to occupy the premises themselves (for example if you rent a single family home or a condominium which is purchased at a foreclosure sale or by way of a short-sale by an individual, or a two or three family home and the new owner wants to occupy your apartment) can you be evicted; and then only at the termination date of your written lease and upon proper notice. If you do not have a written lease and are a month-to-month tenant, you are still entitled to proper notice before you can be evicted. Do not let realtors, the attorney for your landlord or the landlord's mortgage lender, or the landlord's management company tell you that a foreclosure action has altered or abolished your rights as a tenant. If that happens and you are threatened with eviction, you should consult with a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law for help.

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