If the houseI am renting is going up for auction, doI have to leave now?

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If the houseI am renting is going up for auction, doI have to leave now?

The house I am renting is going up for auction. The landlord told me not to worry about it; his lawyer is handling it because he re-financed. If the house sells, how long do I have before I have to leave the house? Also, do I qualify for cash for keys? I’ve tried speaking with the bank and mortgage broker but they won’t speak to me unless I have my landlord’s SSN (which I don’t have). What do I do?

Asked on August 15, 2011 Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the house goes into foreclosure and is sold at auction, as a tenant you do have rights.  Federal law requires that when a home goes into foreclosure, tenants who have a written lease can continue to occupy the home fo the longer of: the end of the lease period or 90 days. The exception to this would be if the new owner intends to move in and occupy the home as their primary residence; in that case a 90 day notice to move would apply. Those tenants with a month-to-month lease, or no lease at all, have to be given at least 90 days notice to move.  Additionally, in cases where state law provides more protection than the federal law, the state law applies.

A tenant should be notified by the mortgage lender as to the sale/transfer date of the property.  After this time, the landlord will no longer be the legal owner.  A tenant should then be informed where to send their rental payments by the new owner.

As for "cash for Keys", this is an incentive that a new owner may/may not offer an existing tenant. If the tenant agrees to leave earlier than they legally have to, then the owner will pay them . The amount and timing is negotiated on a case-by-case basis. The fact is sometimes it's offered and sometimes it's not. It all depends on just how quickly the new owner wants the property vacated.


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