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How do I respond to a motion to default as an "unknown Tenant"

Orlando, FL |

We were tenants in a rental home and served copies of Foreclosure paperwork. We were released from our lease with property management company but are apparently still listed as defendants in the foreclosure case and have just received a motion to default in our names.

Attorney Answers 3


As a tenant, your only penalty will be having to vacate the house. If you want to stay on, you have to have a legal right to do so. Hire an attorney to enter your appearance and try to remain if you think you have an argument. If you have done any damage above the normal wear and tear to the property you may be liable for those damages. You may want to look closely at the paperwork for default to see what if anything beyond vacating you are being asked to do. If it more than vacate it would be worth your while to attend the court to defend yourself.

Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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Not sure what you mean by "released from your lease". Did you sign anything agreeing to terminate the lease? Or are you saying that the prop management merely sent you a notice that you can leave?

Since you are named, you need to do what you can to attend all hearings and respond to all paperwork. If you want to leave, contact the plaintiff and ask them to let you leave. If you want to stay and you have not signed anything saying you will leave, you might be able to stay until the end of your lease period.

Hire an attorney to help.

The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs.

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As my colleague has stated, if the only consequence to the default is that you will have to vacate it may not be worth disputing. If the default is also to an "unknown tenant", a personal judgment in your actual name would not be entered against you.

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