How Can Landlords Protect Their Legal Rights During the COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium?
For many landlords, the eviction moratoriums passed by state and federal authorities have been a financial hardship that is hard to bear during a global pandemic. While you might not be able to evict delinquent tenants at this time, there are still critical steps you can take to protect your legal rights:
(1) Document everything in painstaking detail.
Evictions require clear documentation of every alleged violation of the lease. Landlords should maintain as much documentation as possible throughout the eviction moratorium. Keep ledgers of exactly what rent is owed, any payments that are made, and the exact amount of any arrearage. Take photos of any other lease violations (for example, smoking or keeping an unauthorized pet on the property).
(2) Consult with an attorney now.
The best way to protect your legal rights is to get legal advice as soon as possible. By consulting with an attorney now, you will be prepared to file eviction actions as soon as they are allowed. You will also know what steps to take to protect your legal interests during the moratorium. It is important to have a good working relationship with a real estate attorney who can answer questions about landlord-tenant issues as they arise. This can help protect your property rights and prevent you from being exposed to unnecessary liability as a landlord.
(3) Be ready to file eviction actions as soon as it is allowed.
As you might expect, there is likely to be a “rush to the court” when eviction actions are finally allowed again. The backlog could last for months, so it is important to be prepared to file as soon as the bans are lifted. Have your evidence documented and ready to go. Have an attorney on retainer, and be sure that he or she has all the information necessary to prepare your filings on all your eviction cases. These steps can save you precious time in the eviction process.
Call 407.452.4918 or contact us online for your free consultation with a Florida eviction attorney at Quattrochi & Torres today.