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Tenant Rights in Florida Foreclosure Cases Being Protected with New Legislation

Tenant Rights in Florida Foreclosure cases are now, to some degree, being protected by the state

In a new statute, signed by the Governor just this month, titled Termination of Rental Agreement upon Foreclosure (Fla. Stat. 83.561) certain tenants are being offered a thirty (30) day grace period following the foreclosure of the property they are living in after receipt of a thirty (30) day notice which must state, summarily, that they are “hereby notified that [their] rental agreement is terminated on the date of delivery of this notice, that [their] occupancy is terminated 30 days following the date of the delivery of this notice, and that [the new owner] depends possession of the premises on a [date certain].”

This new notice requirement goes on to say that if the tenant does not vacate the premises by the specified date, the court can then be asked for an order allowing the new owner to remove the tenant and the belongings from the premises. The tenant is still obligated to pay rent during the thirty (30) day period for any amount due, and an address to pay rent to must be specified. This notice must be sent in a very specific manner, pursuant to Fla. Stat. 83.56(4).

This new law designed to protect tenant rights in Florida foreclosure cases only applies to tenants that aren’t parties to the underlying foreclosure documents, or related to them, that the rental agreement is a “bona fide” lease which was negotiated pursuant to market value, and that the rent rates are near that value.

While I do applaud the legislature for trying to protect tenants at foreclosure, and must give my colleagues at the Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection all the credit for getting this bill through the red tape, I urge tenants living in foreclosed properties or owners purchasing properties at foreclosure, to contact a licensed Florida Attorney for help navigating this brand new law.

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