I am not an attorney so I cannot give you legal advice, but I can offer you some insights regarding your situation.
Ohio has passed legislation called the Ohio Tenant Protection Act as well as federal legislation entitled Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. You can find information on both fairly easily online. The Ohio Secretary of State website also has numerous resources to help educate the public about exactly the situation you are in.
Prior to filing an eviction, the new owner must give you 90 days notice to vacate the property. However, if the new owner does not intend to occupy the property as a residence, they must honor any lease agreement already in place with the previous landlord. In your case, the bank certainly does not intend to occupy the property as a residence, so you would qualify. The recent laws essentially transform the new owner into the landlord. They must honor the remaining term of your lease. (So long as your lease meets certain qualifications such as: your lease was prior to the filing of the foreclosure, is based on fair market rent, you are not the defaulting borrower or a close family member, etc) Of course, from a practical standpoint, by the time a foreclosure is complete, many residential leases often convert from to month to month term. If you were to stay for any period of time, you would still need to pay rent to the new owner (even a bank) in order to avoid being evicted.
From a procedural standpoint, the bank does not automatically become the owner upon placing the winning bid at a sheriff sale. In Ohio, the (original) owner's Right of Redemption is not extinguished until the filing of the confirmation of sale in the foreclosure lawsuit. Various states allow for an owner to miraculously show up with all of the money owed on a lien and pay off the debt in full in order to avoid losing their ownership interest in the property. Each county in Ohio has a different case load and different timeframes in which a Confirmation of Sale is filed after a sheriff sale. There is not hard and fast rule. However, having said that, many counties process the Confirmation of Sale approx 30-60 days after the date of the sheriff sale. It is at THAT point that the bank would become the new owner and begin to exercise rights of an owner. You can go to the Clerk of Courts web site for your county and view the docket for the foreclosure case in order to keep a close eye on what dates things are happening.
So, roughly speaking, you have 30-60 days from the date of the sheriff sale when the bank will have the Confirmation of Sale filed in the foreclosure case. After that, you have your 90 day notice to work with regarding your time to vacate prior to an eviction being filed. However, due to the relatively new developments, I cannot be certain as to whether the bank can send you the 90 day notice from the date of the auction, or must wait for the confirmation of sale.
Heather Dunn, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty