You Have Rights!


(en espanol)

Do I have to move out as soon as my building is foreclosed?
NO! Don’t panic. You may not have to move out at all. ONLY A COURT CAN TELL YOU TO MOVE OUT. After an owner (you or your landlord) loses the building to foreclosure, the bank becomes the new landlord. As a tenant of the bank, you still have legal rights to defend against eviction.

Should I take a “Cash for Keys” offer to move out quickly?
“Cash for Keys” offers are almost never a good idea. You do NOT have to agree to an offer to move for money. Usually, the banks do not offer enough money to move, and if you take it, you may be giving up your legal rights. It will do you no good to accept an offer if you don’t have a new place to move into. Even if you want to move out, often you are able to get more time and/or money by going to court.

Should I pay rent after the foreclosure?
BE CAREFUL! If there has been a foreclosure, DO NOT pay rent to the old landlord. Instead, try to find out who the new owner is. If the new owner refuses your rent, set it aside every month in a separate account.

After foreclosure, is the bank responsible for repairs and utilities?
YES. After a foreclosure the new owner is responsible for repairs, maintenance, and payment of water along with any other utilities that your previous landlord supplied. If you don’t know whom to contact for repairs or questions about the property, contact anyone who gave you papers about the foreclosure; it may be a broker, a real estate agent, or a lawyer for a bank. Demand that repairs be made and utilities kept on. If you have bad conditions, Call Springfield Code Enforcement and ask for a housing inspection– 413-787-6731. Photograph any problems–this will be proof in court. If you have children under the age of 6, call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and ask for a lead paint inspection at 1-800-532-9571.

What should I do if I receive an eviction complaint?
You can fight an eviction in court. If you get the papers telling you to go to court, read them carefully- do not ignore them! You can get help from attorneys to fight the eviction or, defend yourself by asking the judge to let you stay. To help yourself in court, find and keep all receipts, leases, notices, or other documents received from your landlord (the bank) or its brokers. Keep a journal of all interactions with the bank and its lawyers or brokers.

Contact the Springfield Bank Tenants’ Association! 413-342-1804 or