July Rent Payment and COVID-19: Can Landlords Evict Tenants in Florida?
After Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until July 1, many landlords and tenants alike are wondering, “Is rent due on July 1 or can a tenant get an extension?” and “Can landlords evict tenants if no payment is made after the moratorium is lifted?”
While Florida’s statewide mortgage foreclosure and eviction relief is set to expire on July 1, some federal eviction protections could last until the end of July.
Will There Be a Wave of Evictions in Florida After July 1?
In Florida alone, the economic fallout from COVID-19 triggered nearly 2 million unemployment claims.
With millions of people out of work, experts predict a wave of evictions and rent crisis after Florida’s statewide moratorium is lifted. However, your home may still be covered by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) to qualify for eviction protections even after DeSantis’s executive order expires.
However, the moratorium does not prevent landlords from filing eviction petitions. As reported by WFTV Channel 9, more than 100 eviction petitions were filed since the moratorium was enacted in Orange County alone. Housing experts and real estate attorneys predict a massive wave of eviction filings after the ban is lifted in Florida.
An unprecedented number of eviction filings are likely to cause a backlog in the court system. Also, tenants who cannot afford to pay rent would have additional time before the actual eviction because they must be served with an eviction notice.
Eviction Protections Under the Federal CARES Act
However, landlords may not be able to evict some tenants even after Florida’s moratorium on eviction expires on July 1. The CARES Act, a prominent federal law signed by President Donald Trump in March 2020, offers broad protections to some renters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Act bans evictions and late rent payment fees until July 25, 2020. Also, the CARES Act requires landlords to give tenants a 30-day notice before the eviction. Thus, while your landlord can ask you to leave on July 25 or at a later date, the soonest your landlord can file an eviction is August 24 after the mandatory 30-day period. If you qualify for protections under the CARES Act, your landlord cannot charge you late rent fees until July 25.
The eviction protections under the CARES Act apply to properties that:
- Receive federal funding or government assistance; or
- Are financed under a federal program.
Thus, if your landlord does not receive any federal funding, the protections under the CARES Act would most likely not apply to you. The National Low Income Housing Association has an online tool that makes it easier to determine whether you qualify for protection under the CARES Act.
If you and your tenant have disputed issues regarding the rent or you are planning to file an eviction petition, consult with a West Palm Beach landlord-tenant litigation attorney. Contact Pike & Lustig, LLP, to get a case review.