This morning I was thinking about the conversation I had with the real estate guy Phil Missig who has a site called haveyouseenmyhouse.com. I had called him after the garden was destroyed and told him how disappointed I was with his decision to let his henchman destroy the garden. He claims it wasn't his decision but I get the feeling it was. He said the henchman was a "really nice guy" and "was great when you need someone like that on your side." hmmm.... He then went on to say that he was trying to get the remaining tenants out so he could sell the property.
So I did a little research this morning on tenants rights and found out that neither he nor the bank can legally evict the remaining tenants. They have lived there for 20 years. Here's the law for LA (this is different in different states and in California, in different counties):
You cannot be evicted in a foreclosure if:
1) You entered into your lease before the current mortgage was recorded: The first
exception applies if you entered into a lease before the mortgage that is the
subject of the current foreclosure was finalized. This can occur:
• If you entered into a lease with a prior owner of the property (e.g. the owner
you entered into the lease with is NOT the owner that holds the current
mortgage that is the subject of the foreclosure)
• the owner you entered into a lease with, refinanced (took out a loan on the
property) the property after you entered into a lease, which resulted in
In such cases,
The new owner may have to honor the lease or work out an arrangement
You are responsible to the new owner for rent from the date of sale
In some cases you may have to pay rent again and then attempt to recover
the overpayment from the previous owner.
So I printed this up and went to visit the neighbors in question. We had a nice chat and I gave them my phone number along with the info I printed just in case they should ever need it.