Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My other blog was mentioned in the Modesto Bee. I shall be insufferable for a week.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On the Federal Protections for Tenants in Foreclosed Properties

For those of you who don't follow tenants' rights law closely, an amazing thing happened in May. The federal government intervened to protect tenants who have the misfortune to live in foreclosed properties, giving almost all tenants in the United States at least 90 days after a foreclosure sale to move. While California's protections for tenants in foreclosed properties weren't great, they were better than some states where, for instance, it was a struggle to get tenants a few days' notice before they could be evicted by the local constabulary. And it wasn't as those these gendarmes had much sympathy--not enough to give them a couple of hours to rescue their possessions, for instance--for the evicted tenants, as can be seen in this video. (The reporter is Laura Ling, one of the young reporters recently sentenced to long prison terms in North Korea.)

Update: On August 4 Laura Ling and her fellow journalist, Euna Lee, were released from prison and allowed to return to the United States. Former President Bill Clinton negotiated their release.

The federal government rarely intervenes in landlord-tenant issues--the few exceptions (the right to run family day care centers in rental housing and WWII rent controls) are notable because it so seldom happens. I can only assume that the national housing groups did a really good job, helped along by those State Legislatures that refused to give tenants in foreclosed properties more than a few days to move.