COVID-19 Eviction Protections Are Not Automatic For All Tenants
Along with the second stimulus package, the federal government has extended eviction protections for many Americans. This is a critical protection that will enable Florida families to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. You might, however, be surprised to learn that this protection does not automatically apply.
Landlords can still file eviction cases, and it is up to the tenant to prove to the housing court that he or she qualifies for protection under the extension. Bay News 9 reports on the challenges to proving your eligibility for protection under the new extension. This rule is actually an extension of the CDC emergency order that expired at the end of 2020.
The CDC rule had eligibility requirements, which must still be met in order to qualify for protection under the extension. Tenants must file an affidavit with the court stating that they:
- Put forth their best efforts to seek all available government assistance for housing or rent relief
- Expect earnings of no more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar year 2020-2021 (or no more than $198,000 for joint filers),were not required to report any income on their 2019 taxes, or received a stimulus check in 2020 under the CARES Act
- Are unable to cover their full payment for housing because of significant lost income or extensive medical costs
- Are putting forth best efforts to make at leastpartial rent payments on time that are the maximum they can afford in additionto other required expenses
- Would probably become homeless without relief,requiring them to move in with family in close quarters or to a homelessshelter
Even if this affidavit is filed, a court still has the authority to decide that a tenant is not eligible for protection. Some Florida judges have even decided that the CDC rule is simply unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it. These are difficult challenges, and tenants should not have to face the court alone.
Seek Help from Casselberry and Oviedo Eviction Attorneys
The experienced Florida eviction attorneys at Quattrochi, Torres, and Taormina are ready to assist Florida tenants in staying in their homes to prevent homelessness and stop the spread of COVID-19. Call 407.452.4918 or contactus online to schedule your free consultation.