Prior to the passage of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act in 2009, tenants’ rights were superseded by the “successor in interest,” that is, the new owner of the property. The act was passed to prevent tenants from being blindsided with removal notices that left them little to no time to secure a new living situation. Under the Act, the terms of the original lease must be honored if the tenant is bona fide.
In order to be a bona fide tenant, you cannot be the child, spouse, or parent of the original owner/landlord, the transaction must have been conducted at arm’s length (usually involving a contract, no “special arrangements”), and you must pay a fair market rate in rent. If you are found to not be a bona fide tenant, the new owners are not obligated to honor the original terms of the lease and you will likely receive notice to vacate the premises within 60 days. However, if you do meet the bona fide qualifications, the new owner has to honor the existing lease term and must provide at least 90 days’ notice before any eviction actions can occur.
Clearly, real estate matters involving multiple parties and differing rights can be quite complex and frustrating. It would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you make sense of the various rules, laws, and forms out there. You need someone in your corner who will fight for your rights and get you the best outcome possible.
Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney can help your wade through this difficult 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.
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