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DeSantis Narrows Fla. Eviction Ban, Extends to Oct. 1

Hours before Fla.’s eviction or foreclosure ban was scheduled to expire, the governor signed an order extending it to Oct. 1. The order applies only to the “final action” and not for reasons other than a COVID-19 emergency.

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Monday night – only hours before Florida’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosure was slated to expire – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed another extension order to 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2020. The order applies only to the “final action” and not for reasons other than the COVID-19 emergency.

The latest extension, Executive Order 20-211, extends Executive Order 20-180 until 12:01am on Oct. 1. Once published, the order will be posted on Gov. DeSantis’ website.

Florida Realtors Vice President of Law and Policy and General Counsel Juana Watkins says the association has “received many questions about the status of evictions in Florida.” According to Watkins, the last order:

  • Only restricts residential evictions. It does not restrict eviction on commercial properties.
  • Only prohibits the issuance of the final action. The governor’s order doesn’t prohibit the filing of an eviction, only the last step of the eviction process.
  • Only applies to evictions for the non-payment of rent for those adversely affected by specifically defined circumstances related to the COVID-19 emergency. The governor’s order does not apply to evictions related to other circumstances such as expired leases, hold over tenancies, or valid violations of lease provisions.

“Remember that property managers who have written authorization and are responsible for the day-to-day management of residential property may only handle uncontested evictions for non-payment of rent,” Watkins says. “All other evictions must be handled by the landlord, or the landlord’s attorney.”

In addition to Florida’s eviction and foreclosure ban, other federal laws may impact the filing of an eviction.

“The National Association of Realtors® recently issued Frequently Asked Questions that provide additional insight on recent federal laws that may restrict or prohibit evictions on properties subject to mortgages which are federally insured, assisted, owned or securitized,” says Watkins.

The governor’s orders focus only on problems created by the pandemic, and it’s “important to note that rent owed by tenants remains due and has not been forgiven,” Watkins warns. “When possible, try facilitating a resolution between the parties that results in the exit of the tenant.”

For additional information, call or email Florida Realtors Legal Hotline.

© 2020 Florida Realtors®