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What Can I Do as a Florida Landlord Until the Moratorium Ends?

Posted on in Real Estate

Sunrise real estate attorney

As we enter into the new year with a vaccine being distributed on a national level, many are wondering how much longer the pandemic-induced restrictions will be enforced. The impact of COVID-19 on the United States began to surface in March 2020—coming up on almost one year ago to the date. Renters and landlords have been hit especially hard as the financial constraints of this unprecedented year left both parties underpaid. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recognized this financial crisis and enacted the state’s first delay in evictions, also known as a moratorium, in April 2020. Since then, this state moratorium has expired and transitioned into a national eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of January. Despite keeping a roof over Americans’ heads, both renters and landlords have criticized this tactic, and are wondering what will happen when the moratorium is finally lifted.

Federal Rent Assistance Money

In the last few days of 2020, the federal government passed a national stimulus package, which includes $25 billion in emergency rental assistance. Even though the funds have been approved by the government, many are wondering when and how this financial assistance will make it into the hands of renters and landlords. The exact timeline of the distribution is unclear, though Gov. DeSantis said the state expects to administer over $850 million in a news release earlier this month. The distribution of these federal stimulus funds must be completed by January 26, according to the details of the law signed by President Trump. DeSantis expects the federal government to provide the money to participating local governments in the coming weeks, after which renters will need to go through an application process on county, city, and state government websites to obtain financial assistance. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Florida is expected to receive $1.4 billion of the nation’s emergency rental assistance.

What Can I Do as a Landlord?

Once approved and distributed to the Florida government, both landlords and tenants may apply for this assistance. Technically, applications may be submitted by tenants as well as landlords on behalf of their tenants. These funds will then be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers. Despite this financial assistance from the government, it is unlikely that these funds will make up for all of the money that landlords have lost over the past year. Evicting unpaying tenants may not be a possibility at the moment, but there are some things that landlords can do to minimize the period of time that they are not receiving full rent:

  1. Keep tenants informed about the availability of this upcoming governmental rent assistance program. 

  2. Accept other forms of payment from the tenant, such as payment via credit card, gift card, prepaid debit card, and the like

  3. Accept services from the tenant, such as maintenance labor, repairs to the property, or other valuable services, in exchange for unpaid rent.

  4. Ask the tenant if he or she would be willing to voluntarily relocate to one of your vacant, more affordable properties to give you the opportunity to find a new tenant who can fill the more expensive space.

Contact a Broward County Real Estate Attorney Today

In this day and age, landlords have been framed as ruthless, unfair business owners, though many fail to recognize that collecting rent is their way of supporting their family. It is important to be informed about the government assistance that is available to you and remain up-to-date on the national moratorium. Elliot Legal Group works to protect the rights and financial interests of both commercial and residential landlords. Attorney Gavin Elliot has nearly two decades of experience assisting landlords just like you so that you can continue generating income during these uncertain times. For more information, call our skilled Fort Lauderdale, FL real estate lawyer at 754-332-2101 today.




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