If an apartment or home for rent is in danger of foreclosure, would-be renters could soon have the right to be told about it before signing a lease.
A bill that passed in the state Legislature and is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for signature was proposed to Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, by a constituent -- another in a series of constituent-proposed laws from Sen. Simitian's annual "There Oughta Be a Law" contest.
Samantha James of San Jose came up with the idea about a year ago after having paid a security deposit to rent an apartment, only to discover two months after furnishing and moving into it that the building was in foreclosure proceedings, according to an Aug. 23 statement from Sen. Simitian's office.
"I'm glad that Sen. Simitian and the Legislature are standing up for renters," James stated.
"We can't forget that the foreclosure crisis affects not just homeowners, but renters, too," Sen. Simitian said in the statement. "Without some kind of notice, renters are at risk of having their homes yanked out from under them. This bill will help renters make fully informed decisions before they sign on the dotted line."
Debra Carlton, senior vice president of the California Apartment Association, said in the statement: "The bill is a common sense solution. It doesn't prohibit a landlord from renting a home; it simply requires the owner to ensure that the tenant has full disclosure about the rental home that is currently facing foreclosure."