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Foreclosures Hit Somerville Rentals, Tenants Worried

Since the beginning of 2007, at least 3 percent of all residential properties in Somerville have entered into a stage of foreclosure. While this number doesn't necessarily mean that the properties ever fully foreclosed, the fact exists that there are many distressed property owners in Somerville.

What's interesting, though, is that many residential properties aren't necessarily owner-occupied homes. Many of them are rentals, including apartment buildings.

This news is enough to scare a potential renter. And it's certainly enough to scare those renters who are already living in homes that are going through a stage of foreclosure.

"We're still seeing lots and lots of properties in foreclosure," said an MA real estate attorney at Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services. Volunteers from the Legal Services have knocked on doors of 208 potentially foreclosing properties in an attempt to inform the residents of their rights.

It's the sad truth. Many renters in foreclosed properties don't know their rights. Many renters are under the misconception that they must evacuate when their landlord forecloses.

While tenants aren't always obligated to vacate the premises if their landlord forecloses, 16 percent of the properties that foreclosed in the Somerville and Cambridge area during the last three years became involved in a landlord-tenant dispute. What was most concerning, however, was the fact that the landlord almost always had a MA real estate attorney while only 14 out of 81 tenants had an attorney.

The sad reality in those cases was that the court almost always sided with the landlord.

Know your rights as a tenant. If you live in a rental home and your landlord is foreclosing, then talk to a Massachusetts real estate lawyer today. You need to protect your rights. Have a look at the related resource links below and contact a Massachusetts real estate attorney today.

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