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FLRealEstateAnswer, Attorney
Category: FL Real Estate
Satisfied Customers: 28364
Experience:  Experience handling landlord/tenant issues, mortgage foreclosures, eviction, purchase and sale agreements
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I owned a condo in Miami-Dade that recently sold at a tax

Customer Question

Good evening, I owned a condo in Miami-Dade that recently sold at a tax deed sale (on July 02). in the last year before the sale I leased the condo to a couple that paid me $2,000 a month (we had a 1 year lease) When they moved in the give me first, last
and security deposit of $2000. The last month they paid me was June. (their lease expired 6-30) Since I knew it was going to a tax deed sale I told them not to pay me for the month of July. Now my question is this: the new owner has send them a very nasty
letter last week and gave them a week to move out or something and also broke their lock! he has not contacted me at all, so at my discretion I returned the deposit to the tenants upon their request. Now they are asking for the last month rent... do I need
to give it back to them? he is saying that the new owner is asking them to start paying him rent from the beginning of July.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: FL Real Estate
Expert:  FLRealEstateAnswer replied 2 years ago.

Good morning. Once you no longer were the owner and held title to the property, the deposit should have been transferred and given to the new owner, since he would have stepped into your shoes as the landlord. If you returned the deposit to the tenant, then he would have to go after them and sue for any damages or unpaid rent which they may owe, as a result of failing to vacate. He can not use self help to get them out, so he can not break the lock or change it and once he gives them the proper notice to vacate, could proceed with the eviction. If their lease expired on 6-30 and the new owner took possession shortly thereafter, they would need to pay him rent and just because you said that they could stay rent free, does not mean the new owner would have to honor your agreement with them and lose out on the rental income for July. At this point, if you no longer own the condo, you may want to consider not getting involved with either party and letting them sort this out. If you have the last months rent, it is not yours to keep and should have also been returned at the end of the lease, if it was not applied to the June rent, like intended. The new owner could get rent from the time he took legal possession and obtained title, so if it was in July, he could pro rate it.