Landlord in Foreclosure
How do I find out if my landlord is in foreclosure?
Property records are available to the general public. Your local county recorder’s office will have a notice of default (initiating the foreclosure process), the notice of sale (the last notice before the sale), and any other foreclosure notices required by law. Transfer of title documents will also be available. These documents demonstrate who has legal title of your dwelling. Most recorder offices require the parcel number of your property. This information can usually be obtained from the county tax assessor.
How does the foreclosure process work if I am a tenant?
The most common foreclosure process in Nevada is the trust deed foreclosure contained in NRS Chapter 107. If you landlord failed to make a mortgage payment, the bank or agent must first serve a notice of default and election to sell.
Three (3) months must elapse before the bank can continue with the foreclosure. All of this time you must pay rent to the landlord or you can be evicted. Although mandatory mediation is required in Nevada, your landlord does NOT have the right to mandatory mediation. Informal mediation with the lender is always available to your landlord and this may delay the foreclosure process. It is not uncommon for the notice of default to provide more than 3 months.
With the notice of default, the bank must also serve a Notice of Tenant’s Rights, which attempts to explain your rights as a tenant if your landlord is in the foreclosure process.
After the mediation process has concluded or 3 months, whichever is longer, the bank must then sent a notice of sale. This notice advises the landlord that the dwelling will be sold 21 days (or more) after the notice is recorded. You will also receive a Notice of Tenant’s Rights.
The landlord has until 5 days before the sale to pay the bank and stop the foreclosure. 21 days after the notice of sale is recorded or later, your dwelling will be sold at auction.
Do I have to pay rent if my landlord is in foreclosure?
Even though the landlord may not be paying the mortgage, you must continue to pay the rent as long as you live in the dwelling and the landlord owns the property. NRS 118A.210 requires a tenant to pay rent for use and occupancy of a dwelling. If rent is not paid, the landlord can evict you with a 5 day pay rent or quit notice. If you do not pay the rent, you will be evicted.
What happens after the foreclosure? Do I have to move out?
After title to the property is taken away from your landlord, you can voluntarily leave after the foreclosure and we recommend providing notice to the new owner. NRS 40.255 provides this right.
If your former landlord lost the unit in foreclosure and you live in a rented house or fourplex or less, then the new owner must serve you with a 60 days eviction notice. After the 60 days expire, the new owner must serve a summons and complaint for unlawful detainer. If this procedure is followed, you will not have a defense to the eviction. You can file an answer after receiving the summons and complaint to ask the judge for more time to move at a hearing. By law, the judge can allow up to 10 extra days before ordering the eviction.
If you rent an apartment with more than 4 units, the new owner only has to serve a 3 day notice, followed by a summons and complaint. If this procedure is followed, you will not have a defense to the eviction. You can file an answer after receiving the summons and complaint to ask the judge for more time to move at a hearing. By law, the judge can allow up to 10 extra days before ordering the eviction.
What is Cash for Keys?
“Cash for keys” is a voluntary program where the new owner of a home will give you money in exchange for your promise to leave in certain amount of time. The new owner will also ask you to clean the premises before leaving. If the new owner will only pay you after you move out, then you should get the cash for keys offer in writing.
Will I get my security deposit back after the foreclosure?
After the foreclosure, sale, or the property otherwise changes hands, your landlord has to either return the security deposit to you, after making any deductions allowed under NRS 118A.242 (see section on security deposits), or transfer your deposit (minus the deductions) to the new owner. If the security deposit is transferred, the new owner then has the same obligations as the previous landlord and must return the deposit or provide a written accounting within 30 days after you move out. If the security deposit is not transferred and not returned to you, you can sue the old landlord under NRS 118A.242 if more than 30 days has expired after the property transfers. You will likely, though, want to name both the old landlord and the new owner in any lawsuit to recover your deposit as both may be liable depending on the circumstances of each situation and this is an unsettled area of law.
The new owner cannot charge you an additional security deposit for 30 days or the duration of your rental agreement, whichever is longer. If your deposit was transferred, or the new owner charged an additional deposit, the new owner should return your deposit or supply a written accounting within 30 days after you move out. If not, you can sue the new owner. The lawsuit against the new owner would be based on a violation of NRS 118A.242.
Do I have to allow real estate agents into my home?
The landlord or real estate agent has a right to show your dwelling to potential buyers. The landlord or real estate agent must provide 24 hours notice and you cannot unreasonably withhold your permission to allow these showings.
A landlord in Nevada does have the ability to enter the dwelling unit for the purposes of inspection, to make necessary repairs or to provide necessary services, or to exhibit the dwelling to prospective buyers, future tenants, workmen, or anyone else with a bona fide interest in inspecting the premises. NRS 118A.330(1).
A lock box is a locked container that is attached to your front door handle. The container holds the key to your dwelling. A lock box is not legal under Nevada law because the landlord must provide 24 hours notice before entering your dwelling.
NRS 118A.330 requires the landlord to provide 24 hours advance notice before entering your dwelling, except in emergencies. You cannot unreasonably withhold your consent if the landlord or real estate agent wants to show your dwelling to potential buyers. If the landlord or real estate agents provides 24 hours advance notice, accesses your dwelling based on purposes of showing the dwelling to prospective buyers, and visits at reasonable times during normal business hours, then you may not be able to do anything about it.
However, a lock box provides little or no notice and you can refuse to allow the landlord or real estate agent to put the lock box on your door. If the landlord installs a lock box on your door without your permission, you can remove the lock box.
NRS 118A.500 allows you to seek an injunction to stop the landlord from abusing the right to access your dwelling. A lock box would be an abuse of the landlord’s right to access your dwelling. You should send a written request to the landlord asking the landlord to respect your rights under NRS 118A.330. NRS 118A.500 allows you to terminate the rental agreement or seek an injunction if the landlord abuses access. If you send written notice to the landlord, you should request that the landlord remove the lock box and provide 24 hours advance notice before showing the dwelling.
Asking the landlord to comply with NRS 118A.330 is not a reason to evict you. In fact, it would constitute retaliation under NRS 118A.510 and provide a defense to an eviction notice.
If you allow the lock box and want to change your mind, you should notify the landlord. You can refuse to let the landlord or real estate agent into your dwelling without advance notice and you can use reasonable force or call the police if the landlord or real estate agent enters and will not leave.
24 hours notice is not needed in any emergency. Showing the home to potential buyers is NOT an emergency.