Three hours before it was set to expire, Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the moratorium on residential evictions and foreclosures in Florida for another month.
The 11th hour extension allows tenants and homeowners to continue living in their homes if they have not been able to make their rent or mortgage payments due to the pandemic. The order only halts the final action of foreclosures and evictions, a clarification made a month ago by the governor’s office. It does not provide financial relief.
The order only applies to residential properties, and it does not cover tenants whose leases expired or any other non-payment that is not attributable to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of eviction and foreclosure cases have been filed in South Florida, and once the stay is eventually lifted, experts expect judges will be overwhelmed with cases, similar to the last recession.
While the state has not provided financial relief to homeowners and renters, some municipalities have rolled out rent and mortgage aid. Broward County launched a program on Monday to provide $25 million in CARES Act funding to help residents impacted by the pandemic pay portions of unpaid rent for the months of April through August.
Sebastian Jaramillo, a partner with Miami-based Wolfe Pincavage law firm, said there is mounting pressure from tenants to continue extending the ban, and from landlords to lift it. Some landlords are “getting desperate” with their properties, he said, and some of his clients have settled issues with tenants without filing eviction suits.
Jaramillo said the previous order, which he said “slimmed down” the restrictions, made it easier for clerks to move cases through the pipeline.
The original order was issued in April.
Write to Katherine Kallergis at [email protected]