I was just informed that the rental property that I live in is being foreclosed on May 21st. I need to know what my legal rights are. Do I have to move immediately? Will the property be going back to the bank on the 21st or to an owner. How does this process work? I really am not able to move right now and I need to know what to do. Please advise
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
As a tenant in a property going to foreclosure sale on the 21st of may, you pay for 21 days of May rent by dividing the monthly rent by 30 and then multiplying times 21.
Pay that amount to the landlord on or before May 1st if rent is due on May 1st.
The current landlord technically doesn't have to do anything with the security deposit (if there is one) until you actually move out or he is no longer the owner, but you can try to negotiate something, like applying the security deposit towards rent. If the current landlord doesn't want to negotiate or you'd rather not, then pay him/her for 21 days of May, then send a letter once he is no longer the owner demanding your deposit back.
On the foreclosure day, the successful high bidder will become the new owner. it will take ten days for the clerk to issue the certificate of title, during which time the former owner can take steps to overturn the sale. After ten days, the purchaser will hold title. The property appraiser will change the "owner of record" on the website to the name of the successful bidder at the sale, but it will take longer than ten days usually. Sometimes, the new owner will contact you.
Once you find out who the new owner is, you will begin paying rent to them. Pay them the remainder of the rent for may.
If the purchaser is an individual or individuals (not a company, not a trust, not a partnership) and wants to live in the property, then he/she/they can give you a ninety day notice that he/she/they are terminating the lease agreement and you will have to be out after the ninety days. Of course, you must continue to pay rent during this time or you can be evicted.
If you have a written lease agreement and the term is longer than 90 days, the new owner will have to honor the agreement (unless you colluded with the former owner to forge a lease, you are related to the former owner, the rent is below Fair Market Value b/c you and the former owner colluded to set it low, etc.). You can continue to live there until the lease term is over. Read the lease to make sure you send the proper notice for termination at the end of the lease and for anything else.
When you are ready to move and have given the proper notice, remove all of your items, clean the place thoroughly, take pictures to prove no damage and that you left it very clean, then arrange to turn over keys and possession to the owner.
The new owner may want to see the premises. It is his/her right, so cooperate. They must give you reasonable notice according to the written lease agreement or Florida Statutes.
If no one bids high enough, the bank will hold title. You would then begin paying rent to the bank.
If you do not have a written lease agreement with a term (lease for one year, lease for 8 months, etc.), then you have a month-to-month or week-to-week depending on how often you pay rent. If you are a month-to-month tenant, then either you or the landlord can cancel the lease with at least 15 days' notice to the other (the fifteen days are always the last fifteen days before rent is due again, not at anytime during the month). if you are a week-to-week tenant, then the notice time is four days'.
Many tenants say that they cannot find a new place and move all of their things within fifteen days' time. However, without a written lease agreement for a longer term, the law says that fifteen days' time is all the notice that is needed to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. For your protection, you should always enter into a lease for a term that is a good length of time and not just month-to-month. You should also be aware of the requirement of notice to terminate or non-renew and make sure to discuss with your landlord and send proper notices prior to the deadline so you and the landlord can have plenty of time to make new arrangements, if necessary.
If you are unsure about your rights and responsibilities, please see a local landlord tenant lawyer.
Real Estate Attorney
You don't need to move. After the property is foreclosed, the new owner should contact you and ask you to sign a new lease with them (your old lease was eliminated by the foreclosure) or they may ask you to move.
It sounds like you are saying that on the 21st of May the home will be sold in a foreclosure sale. Your question is "do you have to move immediately"? The answer is No, The federal government passed the law: Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. It provides that you cannot be evicted in the first 90 days under certain conditions. You should contact a local attorney if you need more information. As a practical matter, I agree with the prior attorneys. A new owner, typically the bank, deals with these situations quite often unfortunately. If you have a lease or the lease has expired and you are month to month, you would typically not be forced to move immediately. Stay in contact with the new owner and come to some arrangement to extend the lease if you want to stay. See these links :
Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship