Red Phone: Renters and foreclosures


“Hi, I have a friend who is renting a house. She has been living there for eight years. She has been paying rent to the landlord. But the landlord is getting kicked out for not making payments, and my friend has to move as a result. Is there anything she can do like locking up the doors in order to not lose her house.”


Red Phone: Dear On The Streets, Unfortunately there is little your friend can do if her landlord hasn’t paid the bills. Even though it may not be their fault, renters are sometimes penalized just the same. 

The best way to avoid being unexpectedly surprised is to take the initiative to keep in touch with any foreclosures a landlord may be facing, said Elizabeth Weintraub, a guide at Anyone can submit a Request for Copy of Notice of Default form available at or at a local title company.

Fill out the form with the information from the deed and have it notarized. Then it can be recorded with the county recorders office, and you will be notified by mail of any pending foreclosures. 

The Santa Clara County Recorders office is located at 70 West Hedding Street in San Jose and can be contacted at 299-5688, [email protected] or The county charges a recording fee of $15 per page and $3 for each additional page. 

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act that President Obama signed in 2009 requires that existing leases be honored and tenants with month-to-month contracts be given at least 90 days to find a new place to live. Tenants may be able to file a suit in a small claims court if their contract was violated. Hope this helps, good caller.


How to help pick up trash

“When I’m out walking and exercising, I get tired of seeing all the trash on the streets and in the alleys. I have been a resident 35 years and I want to do my part. Can you tell me how to pick up trash or how I could help?”


Red Phone: Dear Volunteer Trash Picker, If more people shared your enthusiasm to help, the world would be a better place. Trash that is left around blows into drains and eventually into streams and then into the Bay.

The City of Gilroy has a program called Adopt-a-Spot, which is funded through a grant from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, you may want to check out. 

The city requests that volunteers interested in helping out pick up trash in a certain area at least two times a month and then report back their progress. Those interested in volunteering can call 846-0460 and ask to speak to the volunteer coordinator. Of course, you can always pick up trash you see lying around on your own. Don’t forget to bend with your knees not your back. 


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