CDC has once again extended the moratorium which prevents landlords from evicting tenants based on nonpayment of rent. Many legal scholars believe that this latest order from the CDC will not survive a constitutional challenge. However, until there is a successful legal challenge landlords cannot remove tenants who fail to pay rent. The CDC has narrowed the scope of the moratorium to counties with substantial and high transmissions of COVID-19. This means all of Florida. You can read more about the order here at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0803-cdc-eviction-order.html.
What does this mean for the landlord or property manager? You can still move forward with an eviction action for nonpayment of rent even if you have received a Declaration from the tenant claiming protection under the CDC. However, courts and judges across Florida may have a variety of different interpretations of this moratorium, and there is no guarantee that any eviction, even those unrelated to nonpayment of rent, will result in possession being granted to the landlord until this moratorium expires.
If a tenant contests an eviction for nonpayment of rent and a Declaration or an Affidavit is filed or produced by the tenant, then your eviction will most likely be stayed through October 31, 2021. Evictions for other reasons, such as lease violation, holding over after the lease expires, or termination of month-to-month tenancy are not covered under the CDC eviction moratorium. For more information on the CDC moratorium, please read our article “Frequently Asked Questions for CDC Moratorium/Order”.
It is important for landlords and property managers to understand that the law does not apply to commercial evictions, and that in addition to non-payment of rent evictions, landlords can also file evictions for lease violations, termination of month to month tenancies, nonrenewal of leases, and holdover tenancies.