5-14-050 Tenant relocation assistance.

(a) The owner of a foreclosed rental property shall pay a one-time relocation assistance fee of $10,600 to a qualified tenant unless the owner offers such tenant the option to renew or extend the tenant's current rental agreement with an annual rental rate that: (1) for the first 12 months of the renewed or extended lease, does not exceed 102% of the qualified tenant's current annual rental rate; and (2) for any 12-month period thereafter, does not exceed 102% of the immediate prior year's annual rental rate.

Provided that if a rental unit is occupied by two or more qualified tenants, the owner's total liability to all the qualified tenants of the rental unit shall be no more than if the rental unit was occupied by one qualified tenant.

(b) The owner shall pay the relocation fee to the qualified tenant no later than seven days after the day of complete vacation of the rental unit by the qualified tenant. The relocation fee shall be paid by certified or cashier's check payable to the qualified tenant.

(c) The relocation fee shall be in addition to any damage, deposit or other compensation or refund to which the qualified tenant is otherwise entitled.

(d) The owner may deduct from the relocation fee all rent due and payable for the rental unit occupied by the qualified tenant prior to the date on which the rental unit is vacated, unless such rent has been validly withheld or deducted pursuant to state, federal or local law. The owner shall not retain all or any part of the relocation fee for the payment of any other amount, including without limitation, for any damage to the premises or for any other violation or breach of a rental agreement.

(e) The owner shall not be liable to pay the relocation fee to any qualified tenant: (1) who does not enter into a rental agreement after being offered a renewal or extension of the tenant's rental agreement with a rent in an amount that complies with subsection (a); or

(2) against whom the owner has obtained a judgment for possession of the rental unit.

(f) In addition to any other fine or penalty provided, if an owner fails to comply with this section, the qualified tenant shall be awarded damages in an amount equal to two times the relocation assistance fee. This subsection does not preclude the qualified tenant from recovering other damages to which he may be entitled under this chapter.

(g) The owner shall comply with this section until the foreclosed rental property is sold or otherwise transferred to a bona fide third-party purchaser.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting an owner from exercising any right to evict a tenant for cause. If a qualified tenant is evicted for cause, the owner shall not be liable for any relocation assistance provided under this section.

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