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Help for Renters in Foreclosed Properties: Part II
The house I am renting is being foreclosed. What are my rights?
I Did Not Sign a Lease. How Much Notice Must I Give My Landlord Before Moving Out?
According to Florida Statutes § 83.57, the following notice times are required:
|Length of Tenancy||Notice Before End of Given Period
|Year to Year
|Quarter to Quarter||30 days|
|Month to Month||15 days|
|Week to Week||7 day|
What Happens if the Mortgage is Foreclosed?
If your landlord does not stop the foreclosure, the Court will enter judgment against the landlord. The Court will schedule a foreclosure sale. Once the property is sold at the foreclosure sale, there will be a new owner of the property.
What About my Security Deposit?
If your landlord keeps your security deposit, without good cause, then you must file a claim in small claims court to recoup it. Do not stop paying rent because you think the security deposit will be used to cover your rent, unless your landlord specifically tells you so, preferably in writing.
Can the New Owner Force Me to Move?
The new owner must wait 10 days after the foreclosure sale before asking the Court to issue a Writ of Possession to remove you from the property. A Writ of Possession is a document where the Court orders the Sheriff to remove you and all of your belongings from the property.
Sometimes the new owner will schedule a hearing to ask the Judge for the Writ of Possession, but this is not required. If you are still living in the property and the new owner schedules a hearing asking for a Writ of Possession, it is very important that you attend the hearing so you can tell the Judge how much time you will need in order to relocate.
After the Property is Sold to a New Owner, Must I Pay Rent to the Old Landlord?
After the property is sold at the foreclosure sale, you don't need to pay rent to the old landlord.
What Should I Do if the New Owner Asks Me If I Want to Stay?
Sometimes, the new owner will ask if you want to still live in the property. If this happens, you must make sure that the person who contacts you is really the new owner. You should ask for proof that he is the new owner before you pay him any rent. If you cannot reach an agreement, the new owner cannot force you out by changing the locks or turning off the utilities.
I Heard There Were New Protections for Tenants. Is that True?
Yes. The federal "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" protects tenants in foreclosed residential properties. The law covers all foreclosures lawsuits that were still pending as of May 20, 2009, or were filed after that date. More specifically:
- If you are a tenant with an unexpired lease term: The law requires a new owner acquiring the property at a foreclosure sale (including plaintiffs acquiring the property) to honor all terms and conditions of the existing lease. This means the tenant can remain in the property for the time remaining in the lease term. However, if the new owner wants to live in the property, then the new owner may terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant at least 90 days written notice.
- If you are a tenant without a lease: In the case of tenants without a current lease (usually month-to-month tenants), the new owner must provide the tenant with a minimum of a 90-day written notice before terminating the tenancy. This also applies when there is an unexpired written lease which has less than 90 days remaining.
For more information from Part I, click here.
For assistance with foreclosures, please contact Legal Aid Society's Foreclosure Defense Unit at (561) 655-8944 Ext. 325, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT: The information on this Website is not intended as legal advice or representation. No attorney-client relationship is created between the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc. and any person obtaining information from this website. Public benefits and other laws change frequently. We strive to keep this website up to date but cannot provide a guarantee that this information is accurate as of the time you are reading it.