The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 devastated the US economy, resulting in over 40 million American workers losing their jobs. In an effort to bolster the economy and keep workers in their homes, various US states and the CDC have progressively rolled out protections against evictions for renters.
However, those protections are soon coming to an end—and it may result in a wave of evictions across the US.
At Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A., we represent plaintiffs and landlords in real estate cases, including eviction disputes.
To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (239) 970-6844.
How Do the Eviction Protections for COVID-19 Work?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, two types of protections have primarily protected renters: Those enacted by state governments and those enacted by the federal government.
Florida's state eviction moratorium lapsed at the end of September when Governor Ron Desantis allowed his initial executive order barring evictions to expire.
However, an official order from the CDC barring evictions is still in place until December 30, 2020. To receive protection under the CDC notice, renters must provide their landlord with an official statement and documentation indicating that they:
- Attempted to receive government assistance for rent and housing;
- Earn or expect to earn no more than $99,000 throughout 2020;
- Cannot pay their full rent due to a "substantial loss" of household income;
- Are trying to make partial payments as best they can;
- Would become homeless if evicted or have no other housing options;
- Understand they must eventually repay any rent payments delayed under the notice, and;
- Understand that the eviction moratorium ends on December 31, 2020.
What Happens When the Eviction Moratorium Lifts?
Many people believe that the end of the CDC eviction moratorium could spark an unprecedented wave of evictions across the US.
A collective of authors at the Asper Institute predict that 30-40 million Americans could be evicted if landlords decided to file for evictions immediately after the end of the CDC order. A metanalysis by the Institute predicts that 29-43% of American renters will be at risk of eviction by the end of 2020.
Many renters argue that extenuating circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic should result in an extension of the CDC order. However, landlords contend that they cannot keep deferring rental payments and hope to stay afloat. Others argue that the CDC moratorium should also extend to landlords' mortgages, effectively giving them the same types of protections renters receive under the orders.
The introduction of another stimulus bill could momentarily stem the tide of evictions, assuming the bill gave Americans enough capital to pay for rent. However, as Congress continues to stay at a stalemate while debating a stimulus's terms, it looks increasingly likely that January will incite a massive wave of evictions across the US.
At Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A., we understand real estate law. Our attorneys will work with you to help you find the best path forward in your case.
To schedule a consultation with our team or learn more about our services, contact us online or via phone at (239) 970-6844.