On May 20, 2009, a new day dawned for renters. A new federal law was enacted which protected tenants when the property they leased or rented as a residence was sold at foreclosure. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), Pub. L. No. 111-22, Section 702 (2009) has been extended to be effective through 12-31-2014. Since the law protects tenants caught up in a foreclosure over which they had no control and provides much-needed protections, it would appear likely that the law would be extended again.
This federal law applies to state eviction procedures in Georgia. As a result, a tenant with an unexpired lease must be allowed to complete the remaining term of the lease. It appears that the only exception to this rule is that if the new owner purchased the property to use as his or her principal residence. In that case, the tenant would be entitled to receive a 90-day notice before having to vacate the premises. A tenant who rents without a lease also would be entitled to receive a 90-day notice before having to vacate the premises
During the completion of the lease term or the 90-day notice period, the legal effect is that the new owner becomes the tenant's landlord and is entitled to receive the same lease or rental payment previously paid to the former landlord. Of' course, nothing in life is free, so if a tenant fails to pay rent to the new owner, the new owner can file a Dispossessory Proceeding and have the non-paying tenant evicted. One of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will be happy to discuss your concerns on the telephone or in person during an office appointment.