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What is the legal definition of "owner occupied" property?

Brandon, FL |

If no other properties are owned, could a person rent one place and own another as owner occupied?

Attorney Answers 3


Owner occupied is a definition that is usually associated with mortgages. In the standard FNMA mortgage that covers almost every home in American, the mortgagor is obligated to move into the house within 60 days of the mortgage and reside there for one year. You can only have one principal residence but under the second home rules, you may actually occupy up to two homes. The measure of occupancy is 1) where do you sleep, 2) where are you clothes, 3) where do you vote, 4) what address is on your driver's license.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise.

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Yes you can do that.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

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"Owner occupied" is one of those terms that are thrown around as if they have only one meaning. If you are applying for a mortgage, make sure there are no misunderstandings about your loan application. You could be subject to prosecution for mortgage fraud if you misrepresent any of the facts, even if some tells you "it's no big deal" or "everybody does it".

If your loan is based upon the home being your primary residence, you will be asked to sign a statement or an affidavit at closing to confirm that this is your primary residence. It is better to be up front and open with the lender than to find your self at the closing table tempted to sign a false document. I recently heard a presentation by the District Attorney for the Middle District of Florida and he described the efforts his office is taking to prosecute mortgage fraud. He takes his job very seriously.

The same applies if you are being asked about the status of the home for purposes of insurance. Talk to your agent and ask exactly what they mean by "owner occupied". Insurance fraud is also a serious crime in Florida and you don't want an honest mistke to haunt you later.

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