Renter rights at forefront of foreclosure bill

January 12, 2010 01:35PM

Renters who live in buildings that are being foreclosed upon could soon get a little help from the law, even if sheriff’s deputies are already at their doorsteps. Rep. Hazelle Rogers of Lauderhill and co-sponsor Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando have put forward HB 125, a law that clarifies renters’ rights and responsibilities during foreclosure. Soto, an attorney who has handled more than 250 foreclosure cases, said tenants are the least informed and most vulnerable parties those situations. Deciding whether or not to continue paying rent is an often intimidating question, and landlords on the verge of losing their properties are often little help. The bill would improve tenant notification, give renters an opportunity to buy the residence at fair market value, and make the lender liable for closing or relocation costs. The state’s Civil Justice & Courts Policy Committee is slated to begin hearing the bill and its Senate companion, SB 854, today. [SFBJ]