2009-03-18, 16:19

Renter Protection Legislation

By: Multifamily Real Estate Industry Team
The New York Times is trumpeting the need for broader renter protections and, in doing so, is advocating for a piece of legislation currently awaiting action by the House Committee on Financial Services.

In an Editorial published in print on March 18, 2009, the Times outlines protections that are already in place for renters living in buildings that are foreclosed by Fannie May and Freddie Mac, as well as protections for those living in foreclosed buildings bought by states, localities, and nonprofits under the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The point of the Times piece, though, is that the vast majority of delinquent mortgages are not owned by the aforementioned entities, but rather banks who are not required to respect the same protections granted in the above scenarios. As a result, in certain circumstances, renters who have not been informed by their landlord that a foreclosure is imminent can be informed that they will be evicted at the last minute.

For the purpose of protecting renters from sudden homelessness, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was joined by Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), have introduced HR 1247, or the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. This legislation would create a uniform federal standard requiring 90-day notice before the eviction of a bona fide tenant and would permit renters to remain in their residences through the terms of their leases, except when the new owner plans to occupy the property as a primary residence.

The full New York Times Editorial can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/opinion/18wed3.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

The full text of HR 1247, which is a relatively short piece of legislation, can be found here: http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1247:

(This entry posted by Fritz Vaughan, a member of Womble Carlyle's Government Relations team)

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