Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

Below is the full text of a new Federal law (Public Law 111-022, May 20, 2009) that requires 90 days notice to quit for tenants living in dwellings or residential property, unless the lease or tenancy was the result of an arms length transaction that requires the payment of “not substantially less than fair market rent,” in which case the tenant can usually stay until the end of the lease.There is one major exception to this rule:  If the purchaser of the property sells it to someone who will occupy it as a primary residence, the purchaser may terminate the lease as of the date of the sale, subject to the requirement of the 90-day notice to quit.  The act sunsets at the end of 2012.

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
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TITLE VII–PROTECTING TENANTS AT FORECLOSURE ACT
SEC. 701. SHORT TITLE.
This title may be cited as the `Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 ‘.
SEC. 702. EFFECT OF FORECLOSURE ON PREEXISTING TENANCY.
(a) In General- In the case of any foreclosure on a federally-related mortgage loan or on any dwelling or residential real property after the date of enactment of this title, any immediate successor in interest in such property pursuant to the foreclosure shall assume such interest subject to–
(1) the provision, by such successor in interest of a notice to vacate to any bona fide tenant at least 90 days before the effective date of such notice; and
(2) the rights of any bona fide tenant, as of the date of such notice of foreclosure —
(A) under any bona fide lease entered into before the notice of foreclosure to occupy the premises until the end of the remaining term of the lease, except that a successor in interest may terminate a lease effective on the date of sale of the unit to a purchaser who will occupy the unit as a primary residence, subject to the receipt by the tenant of the 90 day notice under paragraph (1); or
(B) without a lease or with a lease terminable at will under State law, subject to the receipt by the tenant of the 90 day notice under subsection (1),
except that nothing under this section shall affect the requirements for termination of any Federal- or State-subsidized tenancy or of any State or local law that provides longer time periods or other additional protections for tenants .
(b) Bona Fide Lease or Tenancy- For purposes of this section, a lease or tenancy shall be considered bona fide only if–
(1) the mortgagor under the contract is not the tenant;
(2) the lease or tenancy was the result of an arms-length transaction; or
(3) the lease or tenancy requires the receipt of rent that is not substantially less than fair market rent for the property.
(c) Definition- For purposes of this section, the term `federally-related mortgage loan’ has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (12 U.S.C. 2602).
SEC. 703. EFFECT OF FORECLOSURE ON SECTION 8 TENANCIES.
Section 8(o)(7) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(7)) is amended–
(1) by inserting before the semicolon in subparagraph (C) the following: `and in the case of an owner who is an immediate successor in interest pursuant to foreclosure during the initial term of the lease vacating the property prior to sale shall not constitute other good cause, except that the owner may terminate the tenancy effective on the date of transfer of the unit to the owner if the owner–
(i) will occupy the unit as a primary residence; and
(ii) has provided the tenant a notice to vacate at least 90 days before the effective date of such notice.’; and
(2) by inserting at the end of subparagraph (F) the following: `In the case of any foreclosure on any federally-related mortgage loan (as that term is defined in section 3 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (12 U.S.C. 2602)) or on any residential real property in which a recipient of assistance under this subsection resides, the immediate successor in interest in such property pursuant to the foreclosure shall assume such interest subject to the lease between the prior owner and the tenant and to the housing assistance payments contract between the prior owner and the public housing agency for the occupied unit, except that this provision and the provisions related to foreclosure in subparagraph (C) shall not shall not affect any State or local law that provides longer time periods or other additional protections for tenants .’.
SEC. 704. SUNSET.
This title, and any amendments made by this title are repealed, and the requirements under this title shall terminate, on December 31, 2012.

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