I am sorry to hear of your situation. This is happening more and more these days. You might try this website
Renters do have rights and this site might help. I believe you can file a complaint at this site.
I do believe there is legislation either on the federal or state or both to begin to protect renters like yourself in these situations. You might try the Attorney Generals office as well. It is difficult to get throught to them, I have tried myself, but it is worth the effort!
Best of Luck to you and if we can help you in a search for a home or if you are a first time homebuyer, you know you have great incentives and low interest rates right now. I just sold a home that we listed on Monday and it sold on Thursday! The market is really heating up for the summer!
I will leave you might contact information if you need more help.
Anyway, your landlord can surely rent the home again, and rest assured nobody will be tossed out.
The Florida Foreclosure process is different than in Texas or other states and that's where many people get confused. Homeowners and tenants are given ample time to move here in Florida.
In Florida when a homeowner is 90 days late on his payments, he is served a lis pendis and a foreclosure proceeding is started. The homeowner has 20 days to respond to the lis pendis. He can ask the judge for more time to get his act together. More time can be just what he needs, when he goes through a temporary hardship as far as I know your landlord might be negotiating a loan modification or even a short sale.
Meanwhile, it does not help of course if the tenant moves out, or worse, if the tenant decides to stop payment. The tenant's reasoning is often: "if my landlord does not pay, why should I?" And that's a bad attitude because they don't know what's going on and they should not judge nor jump to conclusions.
The time frame between the lis pendis and the final sale on the court house steps can take months, I even have clients that are in their house for more than 24 months after lis pendis.
With what has been happening in the mortgage industry, there are many lender that don't have their cat together. So you might have a landlord that is fighting back and is trying to save what he can.
The next step after the lis pendis is a notice of Final Summery Judgment hearing these are mostly several months apart. At this hearing your landlord will be heard again by the Judge and he can bring on his defense.
Mortgage papers might have been filled wrongly, necessary time frames might not have been respected or even better... the original signed paperwork might be lost, and more.
If worst comes to worse and at the final summery hearing, the Judge orders foreclosure proceedings to go on then there will be a sale date set.
By the way, even when that happens it is not unusual for us to get the sale date postponed because of a short sale offer nearing completion.
Last but not least, when the home is finally sold on the courthouse steps, then the lender needs to get title and appoint a representative.
In most cases that is a Realtor that will get the listing, what will happen then is that this newly appointed Realtor will come to the home and will check if the home is occupied. If the home is occupied he will leave his business card and will ask the occupant to contact him.
Once the occupant gives him a call, he will agree on a move out date. He might even have a "Cash For Keys" program where he is allowed by the lender to give you up to $1,200 so you can move. This money is usually given in compensation for a "clean move", meaning that the occupant leaves the home with the floors swept, all the furniture removed and most of all leaves the home "intact". (no kitchen cabinets removed or doors or faucets and other vandalism).
If you can't come to an agreement after all this the the only solution is that the occupant is removed with help of law enforcement. But even in that case the sheriff will pose a paper on your door giving you 24 or 48 hours to pack. And also that time frame can be negotiated as long as people are "reasonable"
The horror stories that you hear of are mostly the result of people who do not make the right decisions or bury their heads in the sand and dig in their heels.
So to answer your last question, can the landlord rent the place after lis pendis has been served. The answer his: He sure can. Even the lender will prefer that the home is occupied instead of empty with all utilities shut off. The only thing he needs to do is to inform the new tenant that the house is in foreclosure and that they might have to leave with a 30 or 60 days notice. The contract will then be respected by the new owner or lender.
Thank you so much for your question!
I really hope that I have given a better view an this "Foreclosure Proceeding" and that this will prevent homeowners and tenants to panic.
The best thing to do is to seek good legal advice, to take a proactive approach and to stay calm
As realtors we can not issue legal advice, you would have to speak to an attorney for that. But I think that the other answers have explained how it works. I am pretty sure that an owner is allowed to rent their property as long as it does not violate any local zoning laws. When a home is in Liz Pendens it is in the process of foreclosure. It is still under the same ownership until the foreclosure is finished and a title change has been issued, usually a certificate of title.
I hope that no one moves in before the foreclosure process finishes. Once the bank has acquired ownership the owner will not be able to rent it, the locks will be changed. So if the place is not rented quickly, the delinquent (in payments) owner will not be able to access or rent.
I have spoken to many renters who are frustrated. This debacle resulting from lax lending standards has had a negative impact on many people.
Good luck and take care.
First Weber Group
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Lis Pendens begins the proceding but it's not a foreclosure. I've heard of people staying in their homes as long as 3 and even 4 years during the process.