The foreclosure process brings many potential complications to lenders, owners, and buyers alike. Many emotional reactions can arise, but the most severe reactions can cause an original owner to refuse to leave the property after the lender completes the legal process of foreclosure. In such a circumstance, how does a foreclosing lender go about removing the original owner from the property? You may be surprised that the original owner is not a trespasser in this situation. He or she is vested with a right to the formal, legal eviction process.

The Eviction Process for Former Owners

The eviction process for foreclosed owners is governed by the New York Consolidated Laws and federal law. New York’s Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law § 713(5) provides that a foreclosing lender (or subsequent purchaser) must:

(1)  Exhibit the deed of foreclosure sale—or a certified copy—to the original owner remaining on the property (the Respondent).

(2)  Serve the Respondent with a ten-day Notice to Quit.

At that point, the lender or purchaser may initiate an eviction action with the appropriate housing court.

It is important to note that the eviction action must be brought subsequently to the foreclosure action. This is because a tenant cannot be given notice to vacate the property before the foreclosure has been ordered by a judge.

Evicting Tenants after a Post-Foreclosure Sale

In many instances, an investment property bought out of foreclosure may have existing tenants who would prefer to stay in the property rather than leave. As with any other type of eviction proceeding, certain steps must be taken in order to evict a tenant. Under New York Law, the new owner of a property must give an existing tenant 90-day notice to move out, even if there is not an existing lease. In addition, if an existing lease has more than 90 days left on it, the tenant may stay until the end of the lease unless the new landlord wants to occupy the unit. In order for a lease to allow a tenant to supersede the 90-day notice requirement, the tenant must not be the owner of the property (who would be subject to a standard 10-day notification), the lease must require a payment that is not substantially less than fair market value, unless the unit is subject to rent control, rent stabilization, or another federal or stay statutory subsidy or scheme.

Protect Your Rights as the New Owner of a Foreclosed Property

While eviction can be a complicated procedure, it is also the most direct method of legally removing an original owner or prior owner’s tenant from a foreclosed property. By hiring an experienced attorney to complete the process correctly, lenders can avoid the added time and expense of procedural defects. Let the experienced attorneys at Ezratty, Ezratty and Levine get your foreclosure eviction done right the first time. Contact us today, either online or by calling our office at (516) 747-5566.