According to an article in the Star-Telegram, there are at least three bills being presented to the Texas Legislature that would give renters more rights when their landlords are foreclosed on.
The article said:
The bills would require earlier notification about foreclosures and give tenants more time before they have to move out.
Other bills would provide more rights for renters, such as:
- Barring landlords from cutting off utilities.
- Limiting landlords’ ability to change the locks on a rental unit.
- Allowing tenants to get out of a lease if the unit they rent is different from the one they were shown.
- Allowing tenants to break a lease if their home has been the scene of a crime. Currently that’s allowed in cases of domestic violence.
Twenty-two percent of Texas foreclosures involve investment properties, many of them rentals. Currently, some renters who have been victims of foreclosure find that they have little time and no money to move. Any legislation passed to protect renters facing foreclosure needs to include some type of financial compensation especially if the renter is given less than 60 days to move and/or will not receive his/her security deposit because of the landlord insolvency.
Renters facing foreclosure are extremely vulnerable because they often have little savings and no assets they can liquidate in case of the need to move. Because of this, a renter facing foreclosure can be financially devastated by a forced move and that’s why this legislation may help.
Below is more information about the proposed legislation:
House Bill 421 by Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, and Senate Bill 471 by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, are identical measures requiring landlords to notify tenants of a foreclosure. The legislation would also bar landlords from evicting the tenants before the foreclosure sale unless the rent is overdue.
Senate Bill 472 by Sens. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, and Letitia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, would require that landlords notify tenants of a foreclosure and give the tenants 31 days to move out.