Are tenants protected by PTFA for the person buying a house from a bank

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are tenants protected by PTFA for the person buying a house from a bank

My wife and I are purchasing a house from a bank. There are tenants in the house
right now. Are we require to give them a 90 day notice per the PTFA, or since we
are not the ‘immediate successor’ the bank is, does it not apply to us?

Asked on December 25, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You still must give them 90 days notice: the PFTA provides that if the immediate successor (e.g. bank) sells to someone who intends to occupy the home, 90 days notice must be provided. It makes sense that this would be the case: otherwise, the act's protections could be sidestepped by the bank purchasing in foreclosure, then immediately selling the house to someone else. 
Note that only bona fide tenants--people who had paid rent and had a lease, whether written or oral--are protected: squatters, former significant others of the house's owners or their children, parents, other relatives, etc. who were allowed to live there are not protected.
Note also that 90 days is the minimum notice required: if they have a still-in-effect (unexpired) lease with more than 90 days left on it, they get at least until the end of the lease.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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