eviction1I heard it again today, a couple already battered by cancer treatment telling us that they just got a 10 day eviction notice because the bank is foreclosing on their landlord’s property.  When they leave the hospital they will have 5 days to pack up and move and find a new place to live, all due to something that was not of their causing.

If you are currently renting, how can you find out if your landlord is in trouble?  It’s easier than you might think.  In most cases, in about 5 minutes you can find out, without leaving your comfy chair.  My favorite foreclosure listing search is published by First American Title at http://www.realquest.com.  They have a flashy site which lets you type in your address and see a map of your neighborhood.   If you have a yellow flag posted on your property that means your landlord has been defaulting on payments and the bank is soon to take it back, usually within the next 90 days.  A green flag means the bank already took it, and a orange flag means there could be just a few days before you’ll be seeing your notice.

Realquest covers most of the US, but not all of it.  Everywhere has foreclosures, so if you don’t see any flags in your neighborhood, I would recommend backing up your search with a trip down to the courthouse to see if any foreclosure notices have been filed and keep an eye in the local paper since they have to post them there as well.  Also, calling your landlord and asking if there’s any risk of them losing the house could work too as a last ditch effort.

If nothing else, I hope these tips help one person find out early and be able to secure a new residence before having to deal with an extremely short notice from a bank.

Landlords – It’s incomprehensible to let this happen.  So many property owners don’t even know if their rental property is delivering a profit, or even breaking even.  You can use free property management software to accurately track if your properties are breaking even and avoid this mess in the first place.