When you’re a tenant, there’s always a chance that your landlord will sell the property you rent. Generally speaking, a regular sale will not have adverse effects on tenants; your lease will not be terminated, but rather acquired by the new owner and in most cases you will be able to continue to occupy the property. In a foreclosure sale however, things play out a bit differently.
If you’ve received a notice of foreclosure against your landlord, it is wise to file an Answer to the foreclosure noting that you have a lease and pay rent. Moreover, include a copy of your lease, explaining its terms and when it expires. If your landlord is unable to halt the foreclosure proceedings, a judgment is then entered against them and the property is eventually sold at foreclosure sale.
The new property owner may request that you vacate the premises but, as of 2009, the Obama administration passed a nationwide law protecting tenants from a sudden eviction as a result of a foreclosure. Under this law, the new owner must either honor the lease or give the tenant at least 90 days notice prior to eviction.
A foreclosure sale can be a confusing and distressing experience for an unwitting renter, but keep in mind that a foreclosure sale is not an automatic eviction; as a tenant you have rights designed to protect your interests. Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help you navigate this process and make the most of a difficult situation. Contact him at 813-549-0096.