If you are renting a home in Florida, and you find out the owner of the house is being foreclosed upon, you are not permitted to stop making payments to the landlord. The foreclosure process in Florida is often a long and drawn out one, which means it could take a year or more for the bank to actually take the house back from the property owner. This means, your landlord can evict you for nonpayment of rent, even if that landlord is not paying the mortgage on the house you are renting. In some cases, a tenant can make payments directly to the bank in order to avoid being forced out of the property when the foreclosure date actually arrives. However, this is usually only permitted when the foreclosure has been complete and the landlord no longer has rights to the property.
Talk to an attorney as soon as you get notice that the house you are living in is in danger of foreclosure. A lawyer experienced in Florida foreclosure law can help you ensure your rights as a tenant are being protected. Unless you are able to reach a deal directly with the mortgage company to continue renting, you should not stop paying your landlord, otherwise you could face eviction. The situation will depend completely on the state of foreclosure that the property is in. If it is in the early stages, the embattled landlord will probably still be the legal owner of the property you are occupying for a while. Not paying the rent will only cause additional problems for you. Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help you weigh through your options. To receive a free consultation, contact our offices at 813-549-0096.