90-Day “Notice to Vacate” – PTFA

90-Day “Notice to Vacate” – PTFA

As we have previously discussed, the federal government enacted the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA), to afford tenants some safeguards from being abruptly evicted once their home was sold after foreclosure.

I recently handled a pro bono case which inspired me to discuss the 90-day notice requirement under the PTFA.

PTFA Property Guiding'Recall that the PTFA requires a bona fide tenant to receive 90 days’ notice from the purchaser (successor in interest) after a foreclosure sale. However, more often than not, Tenants in Florida are being railroaded in an attempt to surreptitiously evict them without giving them proper notice.

Here’s the problem, once the property has been foreclosed and sold, tenants in possession typically receive a “Knowing Your Options” brochure used by FNMA. These brochures give the tenants a couple options: 1) renew the lease, or 2) relocate with assistance. If you clicked the hyperlink above, you noticed that this brochure gives you neither a notice to vacate, nor 90 days to do so.  In fact, it is quite misleading because it states at the bottom that you have ten (10) days to respond.  This is very troublesome.

Even though the PTFA is Federal law, state law governs the notice requirements. In Florida, legal notices must be clear and unambiguous. If I serve a tenant with a 3-day notice, but fail to clearly state the last day money is due, or improperly calculate the amount of money owed, the notice is defective. Further, I cannot serve a 7-day notice, then sit back and wait until 30 days expires and use the initial 7-day notice as a 30-day notice. It is confusing to the tenant, and in fact, gives them no real meaningful 30-day notice at all. Not only is this “notice” misleading, the way some purchasers go about running the clock causes great concern.

Since the PTFA is relatively new, good appellate level cases are few and far between. Since Courts tend to do what is just and equitable, the arguments made by defense attorneys are over looked at times. In any event, there are some good cases out there, but not many binding on Florida Courts. As case law continues to develop, attorneys like myself will continue to fight, believing in our system and having the utmost confidence that our Courts will apply the law uniformly.

If you are facing a foreclosure, family law matter, landlord/tenant dispute, or considering buying, selling, or leasing real estate in Southwest Florida, you should speak to a licensed Florida Attorney regarding the facts of your case. For a free consultation, contact me @ (239)573-9939 or GuirguisLaw@gmail.com.

By its very nature, this is a generalized discussion, not intended for any particular set of facts.  By no means does this blog create an attorney-client relationship or attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the readers. The law frequently changes as new cases are decided and published regularly. Anything relied upon in this or any blog, is done so at the readers own risk.

VERNON W. GUIRGUIS, ESQ.
The Guirguis Law Firm, PLLC
1423 S.E. 16th Place, STE 204
Cape Coral, Florida 33990
239.573.9939 Telephone
239.603.6965 Facsimile

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Posted on March 27, 2013, in Legal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. this article has been extremely helpful. i’m on the east coast of FL and was wondering if you could refer someone that I can consult with on a pro bono platform. thanks

  2. If you are a tenant in a FHA insured property that is going through foreclosure, you can contact me to make sure your PTFA rights are not overlooked.

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