Has the building or home you rent been sold or foreclosed on? You still have rights as a renter!
What happens if my landlord sells my building?
Your rights might change if your landlord sells the building you live in.
If you don't have a written lease
Whatever arrangement you had with your old landlord will end. But, the new owner must let you stay for at least as long as you have paid for. For example, if you paid your rent for June and found out a week later that you have a new landlord, they can’t start the process to evict you until July.
You and your new landlord can make a new agreement. If your new landlord accepts rent from you, then you have a new tenancy.
If you have a written lease
You probably have the right to stay until the end of your lease term. Read your lease to see if it says anything different.
If your lease term is for more than 2 years, you should record your lease in your county Registry of Deeds before the sale, to help protect your lease rights. This rule also applies if you have a long term lease with no specific ending date.
If your lease is for more than 2 years, or if you think you are “renting to own” and find out your landlord is in foreclosure or selling the building, call PTLA right away.
Does the new owner have to give me a Notice to Quit before evicting me?
Yes. Even if you don't have a written lease, your new landlord must give you a 30 day or a 7 day written notice, unless your old landlord already gave you the notice. To learn more about the eviction process, read Rights of Maine Renters: Eviction.
What if my building is in foreclosure?
The foreclosure process can take several months, sometimes years. Your landlord is still responsible for the building and its tenants during the foreclosure process. This means that your landlord still has to maintain the property during the foreclosure. If they fail to do so, or if they disappear and won’t return your calls, contact PTLA.
Can my landlord still evict me?
Your landlord can still bring an eviction action by following all of the normal eviction rules. This means that your original landlord can bring an eviction until the court makes the bank the owner of the building through the foreclosure action. At that time, the bank takes over the responsibilities for the building and its tenants - along with the power to evict.
What happens when the bank takes over?
The bank must give tenants written notice of the foreclosure order. The notice can be:
- served by sheriff, or
- posted at each entrance to the building
The soonest the bank can bring an eviction action in court is 21 days after giving that notice.
Usually the bank sells the building to a new owner, who would then become your landlord.
This new owner either:
- takes over your lease, if you have one,
- decides to keep you on as a tenant, with a new agreement (if you don't have a written lease), or
- decides to evict you.
If the new landlord decides to evict you, they must follow all of the normal eviction rules.