On April 2, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a new executive order suspending actions for evictions and foreclosures. The measure is meant to help people remain in their homes at a time when people are supposed to stay inside to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The Order does not allow any evictions for non-payment of rent for the next 45 days (until May 17).
Rent, however, will eventually be due.
The announcement coincided with soaring unemployment claims in Florida and across the U.S. Nationwide, with at least 10 million are out of work. In Florida, 227,000 people have filed for unemployment.
What Landlords CAN and CANNOT do until May 17, 2020:
Landlords can still give tenants 3-day notices and can demand rent or possession but it will not be enforced by the Court for the next 45 days.
Landlords can evict tenants if: 1) the lease has expired and has not been renewed (after giving the 15-day notice); 2) it’s a month-to-month tenant (after giving the 15-day notice); OR tenant breached the lease for violating the terms of same other than payment (after giving a 7-day notice ), such as violating one of the provisions like having unauthorized tenants or pets or subleasing.
Landlords cannot evict for breach of the lease on the grounds that the tenant failed to pay rent.
Landlords can file an action for breach of lease, which includes failure to pay rent and seek money owed.
The Order specifically states that tenants are still obligated to pay rent.
Does the Executive Order apply to commercial leases?
No. The Executive Order only applies to residential leases. Any commercial leases are still subject to eviction for non-payment.
Check for Updates:
We are living in a time of uncertainty, and thus, the deadlines above are subject to change. It’s important to check for updates with your local news stations and County websites.
Here are some important websites we recommend monitoring:
- Miami-Dade County‘s webpage for Coronavirus updates;
- Monroe-County‘s webpage for Coronavirus updates;
- Broward County‘s webpage for Coronavirus updates;
- Florida Supreme Court’s COVID-19 information page;
- Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s Court Announcements page;
- Southern District of Florida website; and
- Southern District of Florida-Bankruptcy Court webpage.
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