Move in? Nope: Foreclosure surprises Bend renters

Rental management firm was unaware of foreclosure

Bend family learns real estate rules the hard way

BEND, Ore. - So you're all moved into your new rental home when you find out the house is foreclosed on, and you're forced to move out immediately. That's what happened to a Bend family last week.

When Brittany Allen and her 18-month-old son went to move into their new rental home, she was met with an unpleasant surprise and a big sign something was amiss: Her keys wouldn't open the doors.

"I was shocked, mad and sad," Allen said, "We had waited so long to have a three-bedroom house with a yard for my son -- and then, in a blink of an eye, we had to move all our stuff out and had no place to go."

Just hours after getting the go-ahead to move into the new home, High Desert Property Management informed the Allens they had to move out.

The home was in foreclosure.

The family had moved in using the sliding-glass door, calling the rental firm over concern their keys didn't work.

They said the rental staffer who showed up told them the house was being foreclosed on -- and unaware at the time of the laws allowing them to stay, the Allens moved their belongings out and went to a hotel to stay in.

"I feel like I would like to see people own their actions, and have a little compassion for people besides just running a business," Allen said.

High Desert reimbursed Allen for the money she paid them, including rent and deposit, along with paying for them to stay in a hotel for two nights. They've been in a hotel now for more than a week.

Real estate attorney Will Van Vactor told NewsChannel 21 it's an unfortunate part of the real estate business.

"After it's foreclosed on, the prior owner before the foreclosure sale can't then go and lease the property to somebody, because they don't own the property anymore," Van Vactor said.

High Desert Property Management told us it never received the notice from the bank or homeowner that the home was being foreclosed on.

"I think when you go into a partnership with someone such as an owner and a property management that it's their responsibility to know what the owner is doing and what kind of decisions they've been making," Allen said.

A federal law passed three years ago requires tenants be given adequate notice before being kicked out of foreclosed homes. According to the law, the Allens could still be in the house while looking for another place.

"A lot of people don't realize they can, and have the right to stay in the property either 90 days or until the end of the fixed term lease, depending on what type of lease they have," Van Vactor said.

Allen says she learned a valuable lesson in all of this.

"Do your own research, know your tenant-landlord laws and really protect yourself as a tenant and/or landlord," Allen said.

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