Governor DeSantis Extends Limited Eviction Protections Until October 1
On August 31, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-211, which extends the limited eviction protections established by Executive Order 20-180.
Under Executive Order 20-211, the "final action at the conclusion of an eviction proceeding" was further extended until October 1, 2020 for cases that arise from nonpayment of rent by a tenant who has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency. "Adversely affected" by the COVlD-19 emergency means a loss of employment, diminished wages or business income, or other monetary loss realized during the Florida State of Emergency and directly impacting the ability of a residential tenant to make rent payments.
In conjunction with Executive Order 20-211, Governor DeSantis also issued a memo, which clarified:
- A property owner may initiate a mortgage foreclosure or eviction process in any situation allowed under existing Florida statutes. The executive order only halts the final action of certain foreclosures and evictions.
- The protections of halting final action for certain foreclosures and evictions are only for persons affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The executive order does not cover tenants whose lease expires or when non-payment occurs due to reasons other than the COVID-19 emergency.
- The executive order applies only to residential tenants, not to commercial evictions.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the members who took the time to participate in FAA's recent call to action. Your efforts resulted in more than 400 emails that were sent to the governor regarding the apartment industry's strong opposition to any extension of Florida's eviction restrictions.
In addition to initiating this call to action, FAA shared the apartment industry's concerns related to Florida's eviction restrictions with the governor's office, which included feedback related to the inconsistent implementation of Executive Order 20-180. While the governor's extension is not ideal, FAA is grateful a memo was issued to clarify the intent of Executive Order 20-180, which makes it clear that a housing provider can initiate the eviction process in any situation. This clarification was needed because some advocates were claiming the previous executive order did not allow evictions to be filed against residents who were adversely impacted by COVID-19.
Again, thank you to those who took part in our recent call to action. You can rest assured that FAA will continue to advocate against any further extension of Florida's eviction protections and stress the need for the rapid disbursement of rent relief funds.