Can I Be Evicted If My Rental Home is Sold at a Foreclosure Sale?

Authored By: Florida Justice Technology Center

Frequently asked questions and information about what to do if the housing you rent is being foreclosed.


Can I Be Evicted If My Rental Home is Sold at a Foreclosure Sale?

No, not immediately.  Florida law gives you some limited protection when the home that you rent is sold at a foreclosure sale.  The new owner does not have to follow the lease that you signed with your former landlord.  But you are allowed to stay in your home for 30 days after the new owner gives you a written 30-day notice to vacate (move).

How do I know if I qualify for the protection of the law that lets me remain for 30 days?

In order to qualify for this protection, you must

  • Not be the "mortgagor" (the person who lost the house to foreclosure or that person’s child, spouse, or parent); and
  • Have rented as the result of an “arm’s length transaction” (meaning that you did not get a special deal when you rented your home because you and the owner or landlord knew one another); and
  • Be paying rent that is not substantially less than fair market (this does not mean government subsidies such as the "Section 8" Voucher program)

Do I have to pay rent after the property is sold to the new owner?

Yes, you have to pay the rent to the new owner once it comes due.

What if I don't move out within the 30 days?

If the new owner gives you a notice to vacate and you do not move out within 30 days s/he can go to court to have a writ of possession issued.   The sheriff posts this writ on your rental home’s door and you will then have 24 hours to move.  If you have not left after 24 hours, the sheriff can physically force you from the property and the owner can change the locks on the home, either locking your belongings inside or leaving them on the curb.

How do I make sure the judge in the foreclosure case and the bank's lawyer know that I am living in the house?

You can file a paper with the court letting them know that you are living in the home as a tenant. You can find more instructions on the other tab in this resource or from Jacksonville Area Legal aid here

  1. Copy the information from the top of the foreclosure paperwork, this is the “address” of the court case:  include the court name, the case number, and the division.
  2. Copy the plaintiff and the defendant names just as they appear on the foreclosure lawsuit.
  3. Title your paper “Notice of Tenancy”
  4. In the body of the Notice tell the court your name, the address where you live, the person from whom you have been renting, and how much rent you pay
  5. Next, you should tell the court that you meet the three criteria explained above to qualify for the protections of the law:  (1) I am not the mortgagor, (2) I rented the property of the result of an arm’s length transaction, and  (3) My rent is not substantially less than fair market value (OR is reduced because of a Federal, state, or local subsidy)
  6. Finally, request that no Writ of Possession be issued for your removal because Section 83.561, Florida Statutes, allows you to remain in the rental home for 30 days following the purchaser’s delivery of a 30-day notice to vacate.
  7. Sign the notice and write your name, address, and telephone number. 
  8. Write that a copy of the notice was sent to the Plaintiff’s attorney by mail, the address where it was sent, and the date that it was sent (you can find the name and address on the foreclosure paperwork). Sign underneath this information.

Make two copies of this Notice.  File the original with the Clerk of Court.  Send one to the Plaintiff’s attorney and keep one for yourself.

Updated: April 18, 2017 

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