Pichardo legislation would protect tenants

PROVIDENCE – State Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Providence) has reintroduced legislation aimed at protecting the rights of tenants living in properties that have been foreclosed.
The legislation (2009 – S 0040) would require tenants to be property notified of any impending foreclosure sale. The legislation, if made law, would require mortgagee to notify tenants in writing of the sale date and time.
Tenants would have to be given 60-days notice of the termination of their lease after the sale of the building.
“We have no measures currently in place to protect tenants whose rented home is being foreclosed,” Pichardo said in a statement. “Tenants in these situations are given absolutely no time to find a new place to live and even if they are, many find that their utilities have been shut off because most utility agreements are between the property owner and the utility company.”
The bill also would require the new landlord to continue providing “essential services including, without limitation, heat, running water, hot water, electric or gas” to the tenants until they leave the property.
“I have always believed that in order to break the cycle of poverty in Rhode Island, we must make every effort to elevate our state’s most vulnerable and provide them with the assistance they need to proper,” Pichardo said.
A version of the bill introduced last session did not make it to the Senate floor for a vote.

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