Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure by Funding Needed Repairs
60 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2012 Last revised: 15 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 15, 2012
Among the victims of the current mortgage foreclosure crisis, tenants of buildings in foreclosure are often innocent, harmed, and overlooked. When a landlord defaults on the mortgage, tenants often suffer from neglected repairs, lack of heat and hot water, and other code violations. A recent case from New York Supreme Court for Bronx County shows how tenants can use equitable arguments to force a lender to advance funds to a receiver in order to cover the cost of repairs, even before the lender obtains a judgment of foreclosure. This note argues that foreclosure courts should entertain tenants' equitable arguments and grant relief where appropriate, as well as for statutory reform to make relief more straightforward.
Keywords: tenants, foreclosure, housing, bronx, equity, receiver, constructive eviction, warranty of habitability
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation