I am living in a home that is in foreclosure and I am not the owner. What should I do?

The answer to this question depends on your relationship to the owner of the property. It also depends on when you moved into the property.

In Florida, the owner does not usually have to tell tenants or occupants when a foreclosure is filed.

As an occupant of the property, you will usually be served with the foreclosure lawsuit by the Sheriff or a process server. The Complaint may name you or it will refer to you as the "unknown tenant,” “unknown occupant,” or "John/Jane Doe." The lender does this to show the court that you know about the foreclosure. The lender might list your name even though you do not have any financial obligation to the lender.

You may have rights if you are a tenant in a property that is in foreclosure. The court will not know to protect you unless you tell them that you are living in the property.

We recommend you file a Notice of Tenancy with the court if you want your lease honored or more time to relocate. However, if you would rather leave and find another place to live, there is no point in filing a Notice of Tenancy because it will link your name with the foreclosure action.

See instructions on how to file a Notice of Tenancy.

Are you a Hillsborough County renter having housing problems? Help is available!

The Hillsborough County Housing Stability Program provides Hillsborough tenants the knowledge, resources, and services to effectively, efficiently, and amicably solve their disputes with their landlords outside the court system.

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The Legal Information Center is a free program to provide information to people who are representing themselves in Family Law cases in Hillsborough County. Get the information you need to make an informed decision about your case.

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