Property Managers: Do’s and Don’ts as Eviction Ban Ends
The ban’s end allows tenants to once again be evicted. However, rules must be followed to legally complete the task. For example, a property manager must have written permission from the landlord to do so.
ORLANDO, Fla. – The end of the eviction ban authorized by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) is a step back to “normal” as the pandemic draws to a slow close.
This article serves as a reminder to Realtors who perform property management services for landlords concerning what they can and cannot do.
The Florida Supreme Court has authorized property managers responsible for the day-to-day management (i.e. renting units, maintenance, and collection and rents) of residential property to take certain actions but only if the following applies:
- Property managers must have written authorization from a landlord to evict, incidental to the management of the real property.
- Property managers are able to handle evictions but only if:
- Eviction is for nonpayment of rent and
- Eviction is uncontested
(The Florida Bar re: Advisory Opinion Nonlawyer Preparation of Landlord Uncontested Evictions, 605 So. 2d 868 (Fla. 1992), clarified, 627 So. 2d 485 (Fla. 1993).
If the above facts fit, property managers are authorized to:
- Prepare eviction forms approved by the Florida Supreme Court (the Florida Bar re: Approval of Forms Pursuant to 10.1.1(b) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar).
- Complete and serve a 3-day notice.
- Complete and file a complaint for eviction.
- Sign the eviction pleadings on behalf of a landlord.
- Complete and file a motion for default, and obtain a final judgment and writ of possession on behalf of a landlord.
Important to note: Property managers may not do any of the above if the tenant/defendant contests the eviction. If the tenant/defendant chooses to contest the eviction, the landlord must step in to handle it on their own or obtain legal counsel.
A property manager’s authorization to proceed on behalf of a landlord ceases if a hearing is required, including an initial hearing on a motion to determine the amount of rent to be deposited into the registry of the court.
Reminder: There are 67 counties in Florida that may differ in how evictions will proceed.
Additional limitations on property managers include:
- A property manager cannot file for removal of the tenant if the lease has terminated, the tenant has not vacated, as this action isn’t based upon a failure to pay rent.
- If a tenant has breached the lease (other than for nonpayment of rent), a property manager cannot take action in court on behalf of a landlord.
If a property manager knows a tenant is going to contest an eviction for any reason, it’s recommended that either a landlord or that landlord’s attorney file the complaint with the court.
© 2021 Florida Realtors®