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What are our options when renting a house in foreclosure?

Lake Mary, FL |

The house we are renting is in foreclosure and the owner are tying to do a loan modification. We have been told that if is does not go through we will have to move at the end of the year. We would like to stay longer. What are our options if we wanted to extend the lease and additional year or try to purchase it from the bank?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. As long as the lease was a result of an arms-length transaction and a new owner (if any) does not intend to use the property as its primary residence, then you should be entitled to stay through the duration of your lease, whether the property goes to a new owner or not. As for whether you would be able to extend your lease, that would depend on whether you could work anything out with the owner at the time. When your lease term expires, that owner could either be the current owner, the bank, or some other 3rd party. What you will be able to work out depends on who the owner is when your lease expires.

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  2. You can always approach the bank and try and do a short dsale at any point in time.

    There is a law that will protect any tenant when the property they are leasing ends up in a foreclosure or bankruptcy.
    The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, Pub. L. No. 111-22, §§ 701-704 (2009), which became law on May 20, 2009, applies to state eviction proceedings. The act requires that a new owner who took title to residential rental property through foreclosure must honor existing leases until the end of the lease term.

    There are three exceptions to this rule: 1) if there is an existing term lease and the new owner wants to occupy the foreclosed property as a personal residence before the end of the lease term, 2) if there is an existing term lease with less than 90 days to the end of the lease term, or 3) if the existing lease on the foreclosed property is a month-to-month tenancy or a tenancy at will. In each of these cases, the owner must provide the tenant at least 90 days notice to terminate the tenancy.

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    Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.


  3. The laws in place protecting tenants would allow you to stay the duration of the lease. Since the status of the foreclosure is unknown I cannot say if you will be able to extend the terms of the lease.

    You could try to purchase the home from the current owner through a short sale proceeding, or when there is a foreclosure at the foreclosure sale. Although it is more difficult to purchase a home at the foreclosure sale because the buyer is required to have a large amount of upfront funds.

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