Should I take an offer of money to move out of my rental unit right away (“cash for keys”)? - Whether you agree depends entirely on your personal situation. It might make sense to take the money if you have found a suitable place to move into. However, you should not feel pressured to move if you are not ready to move. You have rights under the law to remain while you search for a new place to live.
How much money should I be offered in a “cash for keys” deal?
Under state law, the “cash for keys” offer must be at least twice your security deposit or $2,000, whichever is higher. If the offer you receive is less than this amount, contact the Attorney General’s Office at 860-808-5318.
What if I have an unexpired lease and am served with eviction papers?
File an Appearance and Answer at the Housing Court Clerk’s Office, 121 Elm St., 2nd Fl., New Haven. The forms are available at the Clerk’s Office and the clerks will provide assistance to fill out forms to self-represented parties. Make sure to write in the Answer in the section called “Special Defenses,” that you have a current lease and the right to remain under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. Contact Statewide Legal Services immediately at 1-800-453-3320 for possible referral for legal representation.
What if I am not given 90-days notice before the eviction process begins?
Follow the instructions for the question above, but indicate under “Special Defenses” that the new owner failed to give the 90-days notice required by the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.
Is it possible to stay on long-term as a tenant after foreclosure?
If the new owner of your building is the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) or the Federal Home Loan Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), then you should be allowed to remain as a tenant and offered a new month-to-month lease, at least until the property is sold. If the new owner is a bank, you do not have the right to sign a new lease, but you should always tell the new owner that you want to stay and make sure to explain any special circumstances as to why you think that it is particularly important that you be allowed to stay (for example, if you have a disability, have made extensive renovations, or have children in school in the area).
Is the new owner responsible for repairs and utilities?
Yes. The new owner is now your new landlord and is responsible for repairs, maintenance, and utility payments that your old landlord supplied. If you have any problems with conditions, you should contact New Haven’s Livable City Initiative at 203-946-8386 for help with enforcement.
What if I am elderly or disabled?
If you are elderly or disabled and live in a building with five or more units, you have additional rights. Under state law, you may not be evicted just because the property was foreclosed upon. File an Appearance and Answer at the Housing Court Clerk’s Office, 121 Elm St. 2nd Fl, which states that you are elderly or disabled and live in a building with five or more units. Call Statewide Legal Services at 800-453-3320 for possible legal representation.
How do I get my security deposit back?
Whoever owns the property at the time you move out is responsible for returning the security deposit to you within 30 days of your providing a forwarding address. For more information, check out "Is Your Landlord Going Through Foreclosure? What a Tenant Needs to Know" by the CT Legal Assistance Resource Center.
When must I actually move out of the building?
The new owner may not require you to move without a Court Order. It is illegal for anyone to insist that you leave immediately or for anyone to lock you out of your unit. If this happens, you should call the police.
Can I receive financial support with new housing?
If you need to find new rental housing as a result of your landlord’s foreclosure, you may qualify for financial support to pay for a security deposit: