We've been keen on covering the growing concern with eviction stats in the USA, most recently talking about how 40 million Americans faced potential eviction according to the latest reports.  Today, we're here to report that the uncertainty is going to continue, thanks to a lot of issues with the wording in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis eviction moratorium.  We'll spell out all the details on what that means in today's blog update.

What's Going on in Florida Evictions?

There was a bit of relief with the Governor kicked back the eviction moratorium in Florida to September 1, however that may not be the reality here as some of the phrases in the documents allow eviction filings to continue and some residents will potentially be kicked out of their homes.

Since April, there had been an original statewide moratorium issued that was more vague in language, and it suggested to suspend “any statute providing for an eviction or cause of action.”

A lot of people assumed this meant landlords weren't allowed to start filing evictions documents, but many did anyway, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.  In Orange County, around 400 commercial and residential evictions have been filed thus far.

Looking closer at the recent extension, however, this just suspends the “final action at the conclusion of the eviction proceeding,” and it's only worded to include tenants who have been “adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.”

The chief judge in the courts of Orange and Osceola, Donald Myers Jr., was quoted as saying “the floodgates will open.” There is expected to be a major backlog of evictions that were held up since the moratorium first went into place.

The average number of evictions filed in Orange County is about 1,000, however the backlog could lead to over 5,000 cases.

There is fear of a problem with homelessness in Central Florida, according to reports.  Even people who have lost income or their jobs due to the pandemic can't stop evictions, and many of the residents probably have no idea that the rules essentially changed.  Many of them most likely even ignored court summons and could be the victims of a sped-up legal process that only gives them mere days to reply or they may just automatically forfeit their case.

DeSeantis did come out and say that if people were NOT affected by the virus in terms of employment or income, they would have to meet their obligations and pay rent “just like any other Floridian would.”

The last employment statistics that were printed had Florida with a 10.4% rate, having over 1.02 million residents without work.

In Florida, the eviction process starts with a three day notice, usually served by taping it to the unit's front door. If the rent goes unpaid in that time period, a landlord can file a complaint in court and the tenant will eventually be served.  When that happens, there is a five day period to pay the owed rent into the court registry and at that point they can get a hearing.

It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next few months, especially here in Florida.  Stay tuned, and get on our email list for more information about how you can take advantage of this crisis.