Purchasing a home at auction can be a profitable investment, but many would-be buyers are not aware that buying property is only the first step to possessing it. If you recently purchased property at foreclosure auction, then you may be surprised to find that the previous homeowners have not vacated the premises since the foreclosure sale took place. That’s because under Florida law the homeowner is now your tenant and is not required to move until you begin a formal eviction process.

How Do I Evict?

Ten business days after the foreclosure sale is successful you will receive a certificate of title (which grants you title to the land, the home and anything permanently attached to it), at which point the state of Florida requires you to apply for a writ of possession if you wish to evict the previous owner. Once the writ is granted, a sheriff will notify the previous owner (now technically your tenant) that they’ve been divested of the property and are expected to leave the premises within 24 hours.

What Stays Behind?

The tenants are not allowed to take with them anything that is not considered a personal item from the property. That is, all items that are affixed to the home such as built-in cabinets, permanently attached light fixtures, etc., must remain with the property. Items such as movable furniture and appliances, however, are considered personal property and may be removed by the tenants upon eviction.

Things to Keep in Mind

Prior to the foreclosure sale, the current homeowner remains vested in the property unless they voluntarily abandon the home and the lender swoops in to repossess it. The homeowners are not required to move until the foreclosure is complete and proper procedure has been followed. After the foreclosure sale takes place, the homeowner then automatically becomes a tenant and the new owner must begin the standard eviction process for the state of Florida. Eviction can be a delicate matter and it is important to follow the legal process carefully in order to avoid complications. Consult with an experienced foreclosure attorney in order to ensure you are following procedure and taking the appropriate legal steps.

Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney can help your wade through this process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 813-549-0096.

The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.