Collateral Damage: Tenants of Foreclosed Properties

Collateral damage: Tenants of foreclosed properties

Tenants of properties in foreclosure have to deal with water shutoffs, landlord disappearances and sudden evictions, all side effects of South Florida’s mortgage crisis.

Whenever Michel Joseph wants to shower, cook or use the bathroom, he has to leave his Little Haiti apartment and drop in on a neighbor who has running water.

Water has not run in Joseph’s derelict apartment since his landlord abandoned the four-unit building to foreclosure, and skipped town in November. The landlord’s absence led to a water shutoff, and for the past four months, Joseph has not been able to turn it back on because of a long-standing rule at the Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department.

That rule — which restricts renters from re-opening a closed account — has come under increased scrutiny as more landlords have fallen prey to the foreclosure crisis, some leaving tenants without basic utilities.

“The tenants have become the hidden victims of the foreclosure crisis,” said Purvi Shah, a Florida Legal Services attorney who defends tenants of foreclosed properties. “There are hundreds of tenants in Miami-Dade County living in really serious conditions.”

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Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009

5 Responses to “Collateral Damage: Tenants of Foreclosed Properties”
  1. Betty says:

    I live in a house I used to rent. The out of town speculators who own the property abandoned it very shortly after I moved in, and then discovered all the stuff they’d lied about to get me in here. Then they went bankrupt, and I’ve been fighting off the bank ever since. I’d like to make a deal to acquire the property, and then fix up all the stuff that’s wrong with it, but the bank won’t respond, and probably has no standing anyway. So I stay here, in limbo, trying to fix what I can when I can. and otherwise watching over all the stuff I’d fix if I was going to own the house, but won’t until I know I am not wasting my money. My neighbors are very glad I am here, because they know the rathole this place would turn into if I wasn’t.

  2. Hydesdocs says:

    We have just begun to live the nightmare descending upon us. We are the new romans.

  3. housemanrob says:


  4. Fury says:

    fraudclosure hurts everyone.

    one of the most insidious dangers is that children may be put into foster care because of their families losing their homes to foreclosure crimes.

    this madness must end.

    • Herbert Lubitz says:

      It has been done here in Bradford County Pennsylvania since 2009 because they started to drill for natural gas all over PA, and all the influx of out of town workers coming in and making Hugh amounts of income, has pushed up the rents of homes and apartments by 200 to 2000% where rents were affordable at $350 to $900 now are $900 to $4500 per month for a four bedroom. now all the tenants that were paying low rents were evicted for bogus complaints, then the landlord cleans them up and re-rents at the highest they can get, this has left thousands of family’s that have lost their children. This is deplorable human behaviour. May God forgive your souls.

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