From 2008-2014, tenants were innocent victims of the mortgage meltdown. Banks were evicting tenants after foreclosure for no good reason.
Tenants Together was at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness about this problem and to find solutions.
- Tenants Together has released four annual reports on the plight of California renters in foreclosed properties. These reports have influenced media coverage, legislation, and outreach efforts.
- In May 2009, we released a proposal urging banks to continue renting to tenants after foreclosure. Several financial institutions have improved their policies as a result of tenant advocacy, but most still mistreat tenants after foreclosure.
- Tenants Together led a coalition of over 20 nonprofits that convinced California's then-Attorney General, now Governor, Jerry Brown to launch a formal investigation into violations of tenant rights by banks and eviction lawyers. Tenants Together worked closely with Attorney General Kamala Harris to pass a landmark tenant protection law (through the Homeowners Bill of Rights) that took effect in January 2013.
- Successfully advocated for state and local laws to stop unfair displacement of tenants after foreclosure. We passed an anti-eviction law in Ridgecrest (2009) and Merced (2011). We sponsored AB 1953 (Ammiano) to stop unfair evictions after ownership changes. We mobilized our members to support key state bills to protect tenants after foreclosure. Here are some of the key bills we worked to pass:
SB 120 – notice to tenant for utility shutoffs, ability to transfer account to their name
SB 1149 – bogus post-foreclosure evictions don’t impact renter’s credit
AB 1953 - specifies information tenant should receive in an ownership change. New owners not allowed to evict for nonpayment if this information not provided within 15 days of change.
AB 2610 - amends state law to mirror PTFA. All tenants get 90 days, no exceptions. Leases are not extinguished but may be continue to be challenged (market rent, close relative, etc.).
SB 1191 - landlords must disclose to new tenants that their property is in default (for properties not exceeding 4 units)
- Notified thousands of tenants of their rights through door to door outreach, mailing, public services announcements, community meetings and other methods.
- Trained hundreds of attorneys and counselors on the fine points of assisting tenants in this context.