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COVID-19 Florida Regulatory Update Email: Governor Extends Eviction Moratorium

Advocacy News ,
Disclaimer: This information enclosed in this email and online at www.FAAHQ.org is being provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. FAA members are encouraged to contact their legal counsel regarding any landlord/tenant law matters. The industry is in uncharted territory at this time and legal interpretations surrounding this topic may vary.

Governor Extends Eviction Moratorium for Nonpayment of Rent through June 2, 2020

Today, May 14th, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-121, which extends the statewide moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent due to the COVID-19 crisis until June 2, 2020.
This extension fails to address the root cause of the problem — some Floridians are unable to pay rent at this time due to sudden unemployment as a result of COVID-19. FAA has advocated that the best way to assist Floridians who are experiencing financial hardship during these challenging times is to establish rental assistance funds to provide relief to those in need. FAA has and will continue to advocate for the establishment of rental relief funds at the local, state, and federal levels.
It is important for the apartment industry to keep in mind that while this extension is not ideal, tenant advocacy groups have pushed for the governor to take more aggressive measures that would have been truly detrimental for FAA members.
WHAT ARE RENTER ADVOCATES PUSHING FOR?
FAA members should be aware that renter advocacy groups are asking the governor for several policy changes that could cause lasting harm to the Florida apartment industry. FAA recently participated on an Eviction Mitigation Task Force, which was convened by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This task force collected input from various community stakeholders, including tenant advocacy groups, regarding how the state could mitigate potential evictions.
During these meetings, renter advocacy groups pushed for the governor to extend the eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent through the end of July 2020 and called for temporary changes to Florida's landlord/tenant law that would mandate mediation for all eviction cases and would remove the requirement for residents to deposit rent into the court registry.
FAA strongly opposed these measures and was ultimately able to prevent them from being included in a task force report that will be sent to the governor. While the temporary extension of the governor's eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent is not ideal, FAA is thankful that the extension that was issued today is short-term and does not make any changes to Florida's landlord tenant/law.