Florida Legislative Update

Florida Legislative Update

The Florida legislature recently enacted legislation governing tenants’ rights in foreclosure, effective June 2, 2015.

 

FLORIDA HOUSE BILL 779

 

If a tenant is occupying residential premises that are the subject of a foreclosure sale, upon issuance of a certificate of title following the sale, the purchaser named in the certificate of title takes title to the residential premises subject to the rights of the tenant.  The tenant may remain in possession of the premises for 30 days following the date of the purchaser’s delivery of a written 30-day notice of termination.  The tenant is entitled to protections of the landlord and tenant laws.

 

The 30-day notice of termination must be in substantially the following form:

 

NOTICE TO TENANT OF TERMINATION

 

You are hereby notified that your rental agreement is terminated on the date of delivery of this notice, that your occupancy is terminated 30 days following the date of the delivery of this notice, and that I demand possession of the premises on …(date)…. If you do not vacate the premises by that date, I will ask the court for an order allowing me to remove you and your belongings from the premises. You are obligated to pay rent during the 30-day period for any amount that might accrue during that period.  Your rent must be delivered to …(landlord’s name and address).

 

The 30-day notice of termination must be delivered in the same manner as provided for the termination of a rental agreement by a landlord.

 

The purchaser at the foreclosure sale may apply to the court for a writ of possession based upon a sworn affidavit that the 30-day notice of termination was delivered to the tenant and the tenant has failed to vacate the premises at the conclusion of the 30-day period.  If the court awards a writ of possession, the writ must be served on the tenant.  The writ of possession will be governed by the landlord and tenant laws.

 

The above requirements do not apply if:

  • The tenant is the borrower in the subject foreclosure or is the child, spouse, or parent of the borrower in the subject foreclosure.
  • The tenant’s rental agreement is not the result of an arm’s length transaction.
  • The tenant’s rental agreement allows the tenant to pay rent that is substantially less than the fair market rent for the premises, unless the rent is reduced or subsidized due to a federal, state, or local subsidy.

 

A purchaser at a foreclosure sale of a residential premises occupied by a tenant does not assume the obligations of a landlord, unless or until the purchaser assumes an existing rental agreement with the tenant that has not ended or enters into a new rental agreement with the tenant.