Vacate: To leave a formerly owned property.
Vacate: To leave or a relinquish a property that one previously occupied or owned.
How Long Do You Have to Vacate After a Foreclosure?
The foreclosure process can take months, depending on the process and the state. Once the foreclosure sale has been held and the court has confirmed the purchase of the property, the new owner can be issued a notice to leave, which usually allows between five and 30 days for the occupants to vacate the property
If a homeowner does not vacate the home within that timeframe, the new owner can ask the court to issue an eviction notice, which allows law enforcement to physically remove occupants from the property. Eviction notices may take months to execute, which gives occupants time to find new housing. This route is not recommended by experts since it can impede future leasing or rental possibilities for the occupants.
Both former and new homeowners are advised to follow the law in order to avoid legal entanglements.
Florida attorney Stephen K. Hachey, for example, instructs that “In the unfortunate event that an owner must be evicted from their home in Florida, there are a series of steps that need to be taken. After a foreclosure, a bank has the right to take the property. However, the previous owner may not yet have a new residence. In order to gain possession of the residence, you must go through the process of eviction, which can take around 30 days or more.”
The steps for evicting a former owner after a home has been foreclosed are as follows:
- Deliver a written notice. The previous owner must be made aware that it is no longer legal for him/her to live on the property. The letter is usually delivered by the bank, and must disclose that you are the new owner and they must vacate the property immediately.
- File an eviction lawsuit. If the previous owner does not vacate the property, you can file suit three days after you’ve delivered the eviction notice.
- Meet with the judge. The previous owner is given 30 days to respond before it goes to a judge. The previous owner can try to get the case thrown out. In that case, you will no longer be able to evict the owner.
- Provide evidence of ownership. During the case, you must provide proof of ownership over the property. Both sides will be able to state their case, and the judge will decide whether to set an eviction date or grant the previous owner their property back. 5. Full property inspection. If the previous owner is evicted, you are free to get an inspection and take over the property.
If the new owner has purchased a foreclosed home that is a rental property, the steps for evicting the tenants after gaining possession of the property differ.
In New Jersey, for example, “A landlord may not attempt a self-help eviction or lockout. Self-help evictions occur when the landlord or someone acting on the landlord’s behalf enters into the dwelling unit without the permission of the tenant and without a judgment from the Court and forces the tenant to move, by removing the tenant’s personal property from the premises or shutting off utilities in an attempt to force the tenant to move. A lockout occurs when the landlord padlocks the door or changes the locks while tenants are not home and then refuses to allow them back into the premises. Self-help evictions and lockouts are illegal in New Jersey.
“If the landlord shuts off the utilities voluntarily or if the utilities are discontinued due to non- payment, the tenant may contact the electric, gas, or water and wastewater public utilities company and have the utilities placed in the tenant’s name for continued service to be billed to the tenant, if a landlord-tenant relationship can be determined. This can usually be accomplished by providing a copy of the lease agreement. If the landlord was responsible for the payment of those utilities, the tenant may deduct the utility costs paid by the tenant from the rent. The tenant may not be evicted for nonpayment of rent if the tenant used the unpaid portion of the rent to continue utility services to the rental premises after receiving notice that the services were in danger of being discontinued or were discontinued.
If a landlord performs an illegal lockout, the tenant should call the police immediately. Under the New Jersey Criminal Code, if the landlord refuses to allow the tenant back into the premises after the police have warned the landlord about the illegal procedure, the landlord may be charged with a disorderly person’s offense. “It shall be the duty of the (police) officer to prevent the landlord or any other person from obstructing or hindering the reentry and reoccupancy of the dwelling by the displaced occupant.” The landlord must take a tenant to court before he can be evicted. Only a judge can order a legal eviction. If the tenant does not show up to court on the hearing date the tenant may be evicted by default,” according to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.