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Mortgage Foreclosures - Renters

Foreclosure Home || Homeowner Info


The mortgage industry crisis that began in 2006 has resulted in millions of foreclosed homes. We know this has affected millions of homeowners, but what about renters?

Scores of renters are being forced out of their rented home or apartment, with little or no warning and are scrambling to find alternate means for housing. Many renters have no idea that their rental home or building has been foreclosed on and they continue to pay rent to the former owner, who often pockets the money. The former owner stops maintaining the home or unit, and the new owner, usually the bank, never makes repairs or pays the delinquent utility bills. This course of action, or non-action, results in basic utilities being shut off and properties being condemned for lack of service or code violations. Many times renters are forced to leave a property in a matter of days, leaving them with few options.

Renters who lose their homes to foreclosure don’t fit a single profile. Many of them live in smaller buildings, condos and single family homes. They’re located in cities and surrounding suburbs, in low-income and upscale neighborhoods. Basically, foreclosed homes are everywhere and they are rented by people with a wide range of varying incomes.

Important Information for Renters Affected By Foreclosure

If you are a renter living in a foreclosed home or building and you have questions, please see the information and resources listed below for help. 

Timeline of Mortgage Foreclosure process in Minnesota (PDF) (PDF in Spanish)

Renters FAQ

Tenants & Foreclosure in MN (pdf Brochure)

Foreclosure Information for Renters - Quick Overview

What you should know if your landlord is foreclosed upon:

  • Foreclosure does not change the terms of your lease 
    • You and your landlord must continue to follow the terms of your lease 
    • You must keep paying rent unless you have a legal reason to withhold it 
    • Your landlord must keep the property repaired 
    • Utilities must be paid under the terms of your lease or under state law 
  • Moving out of the property early might be a violation of your lease 
    • Read your lease to see if it says anything about your rights if the property is in foreclosure 
    • You and your landlord must still give legal notice to end your lease 
  • Your landlord has six months after the sheriff’s foreclosure sale to pay off the mortgage 
  • If your landlord does not stop the foreclosure, there will be a new owner of the property 
  • The new owner may have the legal right to ask you to move even if your lease is not over, but they must still give you a written notice stating they want you to leave

Renter’s Refund - You may be eligible for a property tax refund based on your household income and property taxes paid on your principal place of residence, even if you rent.

Other Resources:

Southern MN Regional Legal Services (Ramsey County residents)


Law Help Minnesota

Affordable Rental Housing
Housing Link

Beware: Scam artists offer to “rescue” homeowners from foreclosure by “paying your mortgage.” In reality, they are looking for a quick profit as they evict you and your family, pocket mortgage payments meant for the lender and sell your home on the open market. Anyone can become a victim.

Visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at or call 1-866-462-6466 for more information about foreclosure counseling.