Governor Patrick and the Legislature have ensured that a tenant's lease will no longer be terminated by a foreclosure sale. According to a new state law (Chapter 258 of the Acts of 2010), tenants who live in a property that is foreclosed on are entitled to at least 30 days written notice if a lender wants them to vacate their apartment,. and they cannot be evicted except for "just cause." "Just cause" means any one or more of the following: the tenant has failed to pay the rent; has materially violated the terms of the tenancy; is committing a nuisance or is causing damage in the unit; is interfering with the rights of other tenants to enjoy the use of their units; or is permitting the unit to be used for illegal purposes. A tenant may also be evicted if he or she has refused to enter into a written extension or renewal of a lease or rental agreement which has terminated, or if the tenant refuses reasonable access to the rental unit for repairs or for showing the unit for re-rental, or upon a re-sale of the property to a third party.
If a tenant receives state or federal rental subsidy, the terms of their rental agreement will not be affected by a foreclosure sale.
Tenants who do not want to leave their apartments, after a lender gives proper notice, do not have to leave immediately. They have a right to a hearing in court. At the hearing, the court will determine how much time they will be allowed to vacate their apartment. Lenders may not force tenants to vacate an apartment against their wishes without court approval.
Tenants' Rights Brochure
The Tenants' Rights guide provides renters with information to ensure that they understand the foreclosure process and are not unfairly evicted if the building they live in is foreclosed upon.
Additional Resources for Tenants
- Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau
- Greater Boston Legal Services: 1-800-323-3205
- Harvard Legal Aid
- Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts: 508-752-3718
- Legal Services Center
- Massachusetts Justice Project
- Holyoke: 413-533-2660
- Worcester: 508-831-9888
- Merrimack Valley Legal Services: 1-800-336-2262
- Neighborhood Legal Services
- Western Massachusetts Legal Services
- Greenfield 413-774-3747
- Northampton: 413-584-4034
- Pittsfield: 413-499-1950
- Springfield: 413-781-7814