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Can My Landlord Evict Me During the Pandemic?


Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extended Executive Order 20-94, which suspended and tolled any Florida Statute that would allow a landlord to evict a residential tenant for non-payment of rent to June 2, 2020. The original executive order was set to expire on Sunday, May 17.  It is important to note that nothing in Executive Order 20-94 shall be construed as relieving a tenant from their obligation to make rent payments. Even though a landlord may not be able to proceed with an eviction action on a residential tenant for the non-payment of rent, the rent will continue to accrue.

However, the landlord may initiate a residential eviction action for a non-monetary default and, in most Florida counties, the landlord may commence a commercial tenant eviction action.

At the federal level, the CARES Act, which was enacted on March 26, put a 120-day moratorium in place on eviction filings by landlords of a “covered dwelling”.  A covered dwelling is generally a dwelling that is occupied by a residential tenant on real property that participates in certain federal housing programs (such as the Violence Against Women Act) or is subject to a federally-backed mortgage loan, which include loans that are insured, guaranteed, purchased, or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture, among others.

During the 120-day period, which began on March 26, 2020, landlords may not initiate or make any filings with any court to recover possession for the nonpayment of rent or other monetary defaults.  Additionally, landlords may not charge fees or penalties related to the nonpayment of rent. Finally, landlords may not require tenants to vacate the premises without providing at least 30 days’ notice, which may not be issued until after the expiration of the 120-day period.

Please contact DANIEL M. COPELAND, ATTORNEY AT LAW, P.A. with any questions as to how a landlord can proceed to evict a tenant.

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