Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Short Sale & An Eviction

If a house, filled with unsavory tenants, goes on the market as a short sale, what generally happens with the tenants?

Do they come with sale and become the new owners responsibility?

Or is there an eviction process prior to sale?

Can unified neighbors expidite the eviction if the tenants are a severe nuisance using a petition or the like?

Thank you!

Asked on 6/05/07, 12:45 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Carl Starrett Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II

Re: Short Sale & An Eviction

Only the property owner or the owner's authorized property manager can file an eviction lawssuit.

If the tenants are still in the property, the owners can either (1) ask them to leave voluntarily; (2) enter into a new lease agreement with them; or (3) start eviction proceedings. The owner must gave the tenants a 30-Day Notice to Quite. If the tenants still don't leave, then the new owner can file the eviction lawsuit.

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Answered on 6/05/07, 12:56 pm

George Shers Law Offices of Georges H. Shers

Re: Short Sale & An Eviction

Based upon your zip code, you may be in Oakland, California; the City of Oakland has a "just cause for Eviction" ordinance which allows only for very limited reasons, none which appear to exist here, to evict a tenant. You seem to be a neighbor and not the owner or prospective owner so have no right to cause an eviction anyway. Talk to the current landlord and the lending institution, but they probably will not help at all. Get in touch with the new owner and see if they can do anything. You may be able to file in Small Claims court a nuisance suit against the tenants and the landlord and have your neighbors do also so that the amount awarded is much higher than the results of just one suit. You should also speak to a local landlord's attorney to find out more.

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Answered on 6/05/07, 1:53 pm
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: Short Sale & An Eviction

An eviction lawsuit (unlawful detainer action) can be brought and maintained by a lessor against a lessee for unlawfully holding over or for breach of a lease; an owner against an employee, agent, or licensee whose relationship has terminated; or by a purchaser at an execution sale, a sale by foreclosure, or a sale under a power of sale in a mortgage or deed of trust against the former owner and possessor.

Unified neighbors would have no standing to bring about or participate in an eviction by unlaful detainer.

Further, a "short sale" isn't a foreclosure and, I believe but I'm not certain, doesn't wipe out any lease rights the tenants may hold; the purchaser at the short sale acquires title subject to the rights of the tenants under their lease or rental agreement. (This statement of mine deserves further research; one thing complicating matters is that the term "short sale" while perhaps well understood among real property lenders has no long-established legal meaning or useage, does not appear in the statutes, and has been mentioned but never defined in only three California appellate decisions. I think "short sale" may be synonymous, or nearly so, with the more accepted term "deed in lieu of foreclosure," but I'm not sure.

It is possible that neighbors might bring a nuisance action, but the facts would have to be reviewed carefully by an attorney, and the result of winning a nuisance action might not be eviction but more likely money damages and an injunction.

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Answered on 6/05/07, 2:17 pm

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