According to an article in the Star-Telegram, state legislation designed to protect renters from the fallout of foreclosures was shot down, along with similar bills; but new federal legislation has come to the aid of renters affected by foreclosure.

The article said:

The federal measure requires banks that gain control of homes to honor tenants’ leases if they’re current on their rent, or to give month-to-month renters 90 days to move out.

As the housing market faced a massive amount of foreclosures in 2008 and 2009, many Texas renters have found themselves evicted, despite paying rent in full and on time. The legislation, which goes into affect this month, will protect millions of renters who face homelessness because of foreclosures.

Another measure that may pass into law in Texas is House Bill 882. House Bill 822 would prohibit landlords from changing locks or turning off the utilities of renters because of the failure to pay rent.  Currently, Texas landlords who pay the electric bill can turn off the electricity because of a tenant’s failure to pay rent.  If House Bill 882 is passed landlords who engage in turning off utilities or changing locks would be in violation of the law.

The new federal legislation protecting renters from foreclosure is definitely a win for renters.  Renters are in a particularly vulnerable situation when foreclosure occurs because they have no control over the actions of owners.  It’s important that we protect renters and stop foreclosure especially when they have been current on their rent.  Renters can take action to protect themselves by checking on the foreclosure status of a home or apartment before renting it.