Tenants have historically endured socioeconomic and legal disadvantages in the landlord-tenant relationship. This was especially evident during the subprime mortgage foreclosure crisis, during which tenants were kicked out with as little as five days’ notice. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) and related state legislation provided bona fide tenants with added protections, such as advance notice of eviction, and allowing tenants the right to occupy their homes until the expiration of their leases.
First, this Article highlights the challenges that tenants face, including socioeconomic inequity in relation to their landlords, a complete lack of bargaining power in establishing rights under their leasehold interests, a historically disfavored place in the legal system in disputes with landlords, and a lack of adequate notice and protection from being displaced from their homes during the subprime mortgage crisis.
Next, this Article examines potential formal and informal remedies for redressing the struggles that tenants face in the context of foreclosures. This Article urges further evaluation and consideration of the proposed Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2017, which is under review by Congress. The bill would permanently reinstitute the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 and provide continuous protection to tenants.
Finally, this Article calls for the Uniform Law Commission to consider a proposed Uniform Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. Such a measure would serve as a model for new state legislation offering tenants protection from summary evictions.