BUYING A FORECLOSURE PROPERTY WITH AN EXISTING TENANT & THE PTFA – PART II
In February of 2014, I blogged about the importance for investors who are buying a property in foreclosure with existing tenants and who want to immediately evict the existing tenant, because they are dead beats – they must first be familiar with the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act – the PTFA. (To see a copy of the PTFA click here).
That blog discussed how the PTFA requires a buyer of a foreclosure to give the current tenant that has no lease a 90 day notice to vacate the investment property before filing an eviction. And if you give a tenant less than a 90 day notice, you will be in violation of the PTFA and risk the court dismissing your eviction action. (To read Part I of this article See Blog here).
In a recent PTFA case, CitiMortgage, Inc., Vs. Lutz, the court reconfirmed the 90 day safe harbor for tenants by holding that if the owner jumps the gun and files its eviction before the 90 day grace period and is successful, the tenant can have the writ of possession quashed and your eviction ruling set aside allowing them to finish out their 90 days in peace.
However, the above case (which ruled in the 7th Judicial Circuit in and for Volusia County) also provided some reprieve for the investor who jumps the gun before the 90 days. The court ruled that since there was no lease governing this tenancy, the tenants’ attorney under the PTFA was NOT entitled to an award of attorney’s fees.
While this ruling limits the consequences of your actions – avoid going down this path in the first place by making sure your eviction is filed timely.
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