Like many states, Florida is a tax deed state, meaning, if you own the tax deed (or win it at the county tax deed auction), under FL Statue you have the right to take immediate possession. Most folks tend to purchase tax deeds where the property is unoccupied. I now understand why this can be an issue, but in my first experience, so far/fingers crossed, my first tax deed auction purchase was occupied and it has gone extremely well.
- Yes, this was my first tax deed purchase – Pensacola property in Escambia County
- I did very little due diligence pre-auction (not good and certainly not advisable, I was lucky)
- Mobile Home Trailer in a class C neighborhood
- From several pre-auction drive byes, I could not tell if the property was occupied or not; a call to the utility company let me know power was being paid (of course they wouldn’t give me any details by whom)
- Post Auction (After I paid for the property!) I discovered the occupying party was not on the title, he had lived there for 15+ years (discovered this from a Professionally paid title search – Always use a professional )
- I can attempt to perform an ejectment notice – lengthier than an eviction and WAY more costly (estimated around $3,000).
- Have the occupant sign a lease and become my tenant.
I like option B MUCH better. After all, supposedly this occupant had been there for 15+ years and clearly he was settled in by the looks of the place. It was going to cost me thousands of dollars to clean it up and even more to find a new tenant. But with the fear of being shot, how do I make contact to see if he’s open to it? Via a Certified US Letter, that’s how. And that’s exactly what I did.
Contact me via the form on this website or email [ jay@helmsREI.com ] and I’ll send you a copy of the letter I sent.
Through the letter I explained and provided copies of the tax deed auction purchase, I was interested in keeping him as a tenant, but if he didn’t contact me within 10 days of receipt, I’d be forced to take legal action to remove him from the premises. In approx. 10 days he called me up, we worked out a deal and he signed a lease. This could not have went any better.