You have to pay rent to someone or you will be evicted. The law doesn't allow you to live somewhere rent free. Many times people think that if the bank filed a foreclosure action in court, then the bank owns the property. That is absolutely not true in Florida. The bank does not own the property unless a deed has been executed in favor of the bank or the property was sold at auction and the bank or even someone else was issued a Certificate of Title. Until then your landlord owns the property and has a few remedies available to modify the mortgage and reinstate it. Withholding the rent could undermine that process and you could be evicted and ordered to pay double rent for all the months you withhold rent. Don't take legal advice from neighbors. Check the county records for yourself.
If you cannot determine the rightful owner, consult a real estate attorney.
This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.
Once the bank has taken over the property, then they are the new owners. As such you will have to pay the bank once they start asking you for the rent. Many banks want a tenant out as soon as possible and may forgoe the rent. However,, since banks are not in the business of holding on to properties, they can sell it to a third party and then you will end up having to pay them.
I don't suggest you paying the Los owner. Good luck.
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Check the county property appraiser's website or call them on the telephone.
If the bank is the new owner of record, then pay them.
If the bank is not listed as the new owner of record, then continue paying the landlord you rented from.
Only change who you are paying if you receive an order from the judge in the foreclosure case or if the property records reflect a new owner.