Former owner access rights to foreclosed rental?


#1

I live in a gated community and our HOA is responsible for handling gate access codes for owners. A house in our neighborhood is about to be auctioned (currently a rental, not owner-occupied) and we need to know when we can legally change the gate’s access code so the former owners can no longer enter (tenant has their own separate code). Immediately after the auction? 20 days after the auction? After the deed is recorded?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


#2

In Oregon the sale is effective the date of the auction provided the trustees deed is recorded within 10 days of the sale. Although you could potentially change the gate codes the date of the sale it would be safe to wait until the trustees deed is recorded and they are no longer the owner of record. This of course only applies to the non-occupant owner and not the tenant.
You may want to consult with an attorney on this matter.


#3

Thank you for the input, Michelle. We would not be changing the tenant’s code, only the owner’s, as you state. Does it matter if the owners have items still located on the property (lawn mower, etc.)? Are they allowed to enter and remove those items after the deed records or would that be trespassing? It seems logical that we could change the code and it would be up to the former owners and the new owner (which will probably be a bank) to sort out how the former owners would gain access to remove their property, but I don’t know about the legality of that part. (The former owners have a history of causing problems for many neighbors and we’re all anxious for them to just be gone!)


#4

Why are you in such a hurry to lockout the owner from the development? What Michelle is telling you is that until the Trustee’s Deed is recoreded, the “old” owner is still the owner. I can understand it if the HOA is the buyer at the auction as the HOA would have an interest in protecting the property. When I buy a property, If I can, I take possesion within hours of the sale, and I act as though the Trustee’s Deed has been recorded. If there is a tenant, I act as though I am the new landlord. In doing this, there is a risk that I will be challenged, or my actions uses against me later in an eviction proceeding, but in my case, it is worth the risk to secure and protect my interest in the property. So far, I have always received the Deed and with only one exception, not had my practice questioned. Even then, it was not big deal.

So, I would ask, is the risk worth the reward? If the owner wants to be nasty, I am sure he could give you and the HOA a hassle that would at least cost you laywer hours. If you think the old owner will be destructive in some way, then use the police to protect the property.


#5

Hi Edgar,
Once the sale is final the property is owned by the bank. If there are personal affects left if a storage area then they would need to contact the new owner to make arrangements to pick up the items or contact the tenant since I am sure they need to give notice to the tenants before the visit the property now. Richard makes some great points.
Without knowing more about your association you would need to respond to a change of ownership the same way you would respond to any other sale. You would not be able to give access to a former owner once a property has sold unless they are still the legal occupants and you would not be able to allow this owner access either. Be cautious since this could end up being a big legal issue which is why I suggested consulting with your attorney. If this person is as destructive as you say then it would probably be in your best interest to alert the police of the situation just in case. If you need to contact the police it would be great if you had a copy of the trustees deed so that you could prove they are no longer the owner of record.


#6

Thank you, Michelle and Richard, for the information. I will suggest to the group that we wait to change the code until we can get a copy of the deed, though in the meantime we’ll keep our eye out for trouble and be prepared to contact the police if need be.

Again, thank you.