What the End of the CDC Eviction Mortarium Means for Landlords and Tenants in Florida

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What the End of the CDC Eviction Mortarium Means for Landlords and Tenants in Florida

The Supreme Court Has Spoken: What the End of the CDC Eviction Mortarium Means for Landlords and Tenants in Florida

After almost 18 months of State and Federal protection, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Eviction Moratorium was lifted by a 6-3 ruling in the United States Supreme Court on August 26, 2021. With its Ruling, the majority granted the request for relief from the Eviction Mortarium and held any federally imposed Eviction Mortarium must be specifically authorized by Congress. Despite pleas from a range of federally funded organizations, Congress has taken no action to the date of this post.

To Recap:

Early in the Pandemic the Federal, State, and Local Governments each enacted their own version of an Eviction Mortarium. On September 4, 2020, the CDC issued an Order declaring a national Eviction Mortarium – which was extended until the August 26, 2021, Supreme Court ruling. The CDC Eviction Moratorium prevented Landlords from evicting Tenants for non-payment of rent IF the Tenant could show they had been affected economically by Covid-19. Evictions of Tenants not protected by the CDC Eviction Moratorium have continued throughout the Pandemic.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was enacted to aid Tenants and Landlords alike in accessing funds to assist with monthly rental payments. In Broward County alone over 50 Million Dollars in funds has been set aside for qualifying individuals. To qualify in Broward County an “eligible household” is defined as a renter household in which one or more of the individuals meets the following criteria: (1) qualifies for unemployment has experienced a reduction in household income, has incurred significant costs or experienced a financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19; (2) demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; (3) has a household income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI); and (4) maintains an arm’s length relationship between the landlord and tenant. Similar standards are found in Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County.

To many Landlords’ and Tenants’ frustrations, funds through the ERAP have been slowly disbursed and remain in the County’s control.

Current Status:

Broward County Landlords have experienced financial loss during this Pandemic. With the Supreme Court’s Ruling, Landlords may once again initiate Eviction proceedings against Tenants for non-payment of rent, regardless of the reason. And with this, thousands of Florida Tenants are at imminent risk of Eviction.

What this Means for Landlords:
For Landlords, the Supreme Court Ruling clears the way to initiate the Eviction process against Tenants previously protected by the CDC Eviction Moratorium. There are several legal and non-legal actions you may take:

  1.  Reach out to the Tenant to confirm they have requested ERAP assistance. If they have not, you may do so on their behalf. In either case, it may be more cost effective to await the funds rather than initiate the Eviction process.
  2. Initiate the Eviction process. You are no longer barred from initiating an Eviction against a Tenant for non-payment of rent, regardless of the reason. Each jurisdiction has its own regulations regarding Eviction proceedings, so you will need to ensure compliance with Broward County, Palm Beach County or Miami-Dade procedures.

What this Means for Tenants:
For Tenants behind on their rent and previously protected by the CDC Eviction Mortarium, you must now take prompt and deliberate action. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. If you have not done so already, immediately apply for ERAP assistance;
  2. Contact your Landlord directly and encourage them to also apply for ERAP assistance and work with you in aims of avoiding an Eviction;
  3. If the Eviction process is initiated, notify the Court of your efforts to remain in the property and to obtain ERAP assistance;
  4. If a Writ of Possession is issued, you only have 24 hours to vacate the premises or request further Court intervention by way of an Emergency Motion to Stay the Writ.

We Can Help:

It is imperative that Landlords and Tenants alike know their rights and available options. If you are a residential Landlord needing to initiate an Eviction, or a residential Tenant facing an Eviction, contact Scarnecchia Mullin today to schedule a consultation and learn about your rights. Our Attorneys will guide you through the Florida Eviction Process and help you achieve your overall goals.

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