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Tenant With Landlord In Foreclosure

What You Need To Know

Estimates are that 40% of those losing their homes due to foreclosure are tenants.  When dealing with legal issues it is always recommended that tenants consult an attorney for legal advice.  If you cannot afford an attorney call 1-866-Law-Ohio (1-866-529-6446) or visit OhioLegalServices.org for your closest legal aid office.

  • Continue To Pay Your Rent 

    If you do not pay your rent, or otherwise breach the lease, you can be evicted immediately by either your current landlord or the new landlord.  If you do not know to whom to pay the rent, you can escrow your rent payment in your local municipal or county court and the court will figure out legally who is entitled to it.  See the Tenant With Landlord in Foreclosure - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, FAQ #8 for more information.

  • Be Prepared To Move

    Although you will have at least 90 days from the date the new building owner gives you a written notice to move, it is never too early to begin planning your move.  Note that if you have a written lease, you may be able to stay until your lease is up.  See the box on the right and the Tenant With Landlord in Foreclosure - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more information.

  • Track The Foreclosure Case

    Check with your local County Clerk of Courts often to find out the status of the foreclosure case.  Foreclosure cases can take six months or more to reach a conclusion and the new owner cannot give you the 90 day notice to move until the end of the case.  Each of Ohio’s 88 County Common Pleas Courts websites are listed by the Ohio Supreme Court and on the Common Pleas Court website for your county you will find a link to your County Clerk of Courts' website where an online case search is available.  When you search for the foreclosure case, keep in mind that a foreclosure is a civil lawsuit in Common Pleas Court and you will need to search for your landlord’s name as a defendant to find the case.  See the Tenant With Landlord in Foreclosure - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, FAQ #8, for more information about what to look for in the website's case docket.

  • Know Your Rights As A Tenant
    See the Tenant With Landlord in Foreclosure - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more information.
What is the PTAF Act?

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

The PTAF Act is a federal law that gives tenants certain rights when the building they are living in is in foreclosure.  In Ohio, it is the only law of its kind because there is no state law that gives tenants in this situation any special protection.  Federal law takes precedence over state law, and is enforced by state courts.  As of 2013, unless extended, the PTAF ends December 31, 2014 at which time the tenant's right to receive a 90-day notice to move will end.

Tenants Get At Least A 90 Day Notice To Move

Tenants with a “bona fide” lease, as defined in the Act (see Tenants in Foreclosure FAQs), that was entered into before notice of foreclosure can remain in a foreclosed building until the end of their lease, unless the bank sells the property to someone who intends to make it his/her primary residence.  If the new owner intends to occupy the home, they are still required to give a 90-day notice to the tenant prior to eviction. 

If the tenant does not have a lease and is renting month-to-month, there is still a 90-day notice requirement prior to eviction.  Notice must be provided by the “immediate successor in interest” which, in most cases, would be the bank or the new owner.

Sample Letters To Enforce Your Rights Under The PTFA

The National Housing Law Project has developed sample letters to send to landlords, courts and housing authorities notifying them of the rights granted to tenants under the PTFA.  Click here to download the sample letters.

This website provides general legal information and not legal advice.  The law is complex and changes frequently. 
Before you apply any general legal information to a particular situation, consult an attorney. 
If you cannot afford an attorney call 1-866-Law-Ohio (1-866-529-6446) or visit OhioLegalHelp.org for your closest legal aid office.