If Dorthy was here today and reading this…
She would definitely click her heels and say there’s no place like NO home!
BY: CARRIE BAY DSNEWS.com
The foreclosure crisis in California has taken a toll on not only homeowners, but a large number of tenants in the state.
According to a new study from Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights, at least 37 percent of residential units in foreclosure in the Golden State last year were rentals, directly affecting over 200,000 tenants – most of whom were displaced.
Tenant Together’s research is based on California property records for every foreclosure in 2009, and the organization says its estimates are “conservative.”
The report – California Tenants in the Foreclosure Crisis Report- California Renters in the Foreclosure Crisis- final.pdf – concludes that while the largest percentage of renter-occupied foreclosed properties were single-family homes, the percentage of renter-occupied, multi-unit buildings is growing at a faster pace.
The organization says this trend is likely to increase as more loan modification programs target owner-occupied properties, which are primarily single-family homes and condominiums, while multi-unit rental properties continue to fall by the wayside and into foreclosure.
Since Tenants Together’s previous annual report was issued, the most significant develop for renters in foreclosure situations has been the enactment of the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.
The new federal law increased the eviction notice period for tenants to 90 days, assured that existing leases survive foreclosure, and clarified that banks and other post-foreclosure owners of property step into the shoes of the pre-foreclosure owner and have the obligations of landlords.
Tenants Together says that while the new federal law is a step in the right direction, it comes short of providing long-term security for tenants and has been mired by implementation problems arising from banks’ non-compliance with the new law.
According to Gabe Treves, program coordinator at Tenants Together and author of the group’s latest report, “Tenants are innocent and hidden victims of a foreclosure crisis they did nothing to create. As this report shows, the unfair and unnecessary displacement at tenants at the hands of banks is affecting communities across the state at a devastating scale.”
Tenants Together concludes its annual report with a checklist of recommended actions to mitigate the impact of the foreclosure crisis on renters. Among the various proposals, the report notes that ‘just cause for eviction’ laws are a particularly effective and cost-free way to stop the displacement of tenants whose lenders have been foreclosed on and provide greater stability to California communities.