Tenants and Foreclosures
If you are a tenant in a multi-family building, and have been given an eviction notice or notice of a rent increase because the building is entering foreclosure, you need to know that foreclosure or sale of a building is not a lawful reason to evict tenants or raise the rent in the City of Berkeley. You have rights! For questions about rent increases and eviction proceedings, call the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Program at (510) 981-RENT (981-7368). The Rent Board also sponsors counseling sessions which you might consider attending. Also see the referrals under Frequently Asked Question #7 above.
The City of Berkeley Good Cause for Eviction Ordinance states that a landlord must have a good cause to evict a tenant. Eviction resulting from foreclosure is not a good cause for eviction. While a bank or mortgage company becomes the new owner, the situation is no different from the situation in which a building owner sells the property to someone else. In either case, the fact that someone else owns the building is not a lawful reason to evict a tenant.
If there is a foreclosure, your rent payment cannot be increased without approval of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board.
If you paid rent to the prior landlord before being notified that there has been a foreclosure, you should be given credit for the rent payment. It is YOUR responsibility to prove you paid the rent. Always insist on getting a receipt from your landlord.