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New Renter, Homeowner Fighting Foreclosure; Homelessness Prevention. What are my rights?

Tampa, FL |

I am a new renter at my current address. I recently found-out that my landlord is also defending against foreclosure. I'm concerned that I might be evicted too, but I learned that under the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, tenants are allowed to either stay in the unit for the remainder of their lease, or for a minimum of 90 days.

Is this true and, if so, do I have to present myself at the upcoming court hearings? Do I have to get involved in my landlords legal case? It's not the bank that is foreclosing, however; it's the HOA. How will I have to deal with them?

I have a two-year lease and children. Is there ANY other Florida law that would prevent eviction/ homelessness because of my children?

Thank you.

Attorney Answers 2


You won't be affected until AFTER foreclosure. The new owner will either ask you to move or allow you to stay under a new lease. You have comfort in knowing you probably have the 90 day protection of the act that you cited.

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In Florida, HOAs do generally have the right to attempt to foreclose a property due to past-due assessments. You may or may not be named in the suit, likely you will be named as "unknown tenant #1." The good news is that the owner is the person responsible for paying the HOA, not you. The owner may attempt to settle with the HOA and begin a payment plan for the past-due amounts, if the HOA will consent to such an agreement. As a tenant you are entitled to appear at the court hearings, however, it is not entirely clear what your basis for defending the case would be given that you only have a leasehold interest in the property and are not being sued for the debt.

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What if I don't go to the hearings? Can I still preserve my rights as a tenant? I'd rather not get involved. Can I wait and see what happens without any risk to myself? Please advise. Thank you.

Jordan Tyler Isringhaus

Jordan Tyler Isringhaus


Your attendance at the hearing is not necessarily determinative of your rights in the case. Your right to assert arguments or assert your rights is determined by whether or not you have filed a written response. The written response likely protects you from a default. You are already in a position of limited risk because the HOA is seeking nothing from you other than possession of the property. Generally speaking, a party who does not assert argument via a written response is in danger of not being able to present its case. Again, if you choose to respond it is unclear what arguments you would raise to defeat the HOA's claim. That is where you should consult an attorney regarding the particulars.

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