Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act Expiration

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act expired on December 31, 2014.  It is my opinion that tenants in foreclosed properties can be evicted beginning on January 1, 2015. I have not found any advice from other experts.  My opinion is based on the wording of the statute itself. It says:

“Sunset. This title, and any amendments made by this title are repealed, and the requirements under this title shall terminate, on December 31, 2014.”

The fact that it is “repealed” means it is legally as if the Act never existed.  My conclusion is that even though a tenant might have enjoyed protections under the Act up until December 31, 2014, on that date there was a time warp, things got “re-set,” and the tenant’s legal status is the same as if there never were a Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.

Others might disagree. Please jump in there and give me your interpretation.  I’m not at all sure I’m on firm ground on this one.  Time will tell.  If you are a landlord, tread carefully.  If a tenant’s lease is due to expire on February 28, 2015 (for example) do you really want to start eviction proceedings on January 8th–today?  You won’t be able to get them out until very close to the end of February, anyway. Why risk a possible counterclaim by the tenant and damages against the landlord?

On the other hand, if the lease expires later in the year, this might be an important issue. Ask the advice of a licensed attorney, just to protect yourself.  Asking your lawyer friend for advice at the Wednesday night potluck dinner at church doesn’t count.  Make an appointment, and get real advice, in writing.