As a new investor, Stephen is purchasing his first investment property. He reviews the contract and notes Provision 6(b) is checked, indicating the property is currently occupied by tenants. Great! He thinks I can collect instant rental income. Stephen does not realize, however, that the Federal eviction moratorium is still in effect, and his future tenants have not paid rent since April 2020.
As of 12:01am on Thursday, October 2, 2020 Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, let the statewide eviction moratorium expire however, the Federal eviction moratorium is still in effect. Therefore, a future landlord, like Stephen, may not be able to collect rental payments from his future residential tenants.
· On March 18, 2020, President Donald J. Trump announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) authorized the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) to implement an immediate eviction moratorium and to suspend evictions for at least 60 days due to the COVID-19 emergency.
• Since April 2, 2020, Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, imitated the Federal government’s eviction moratorium by issuing Executive Order Number 20-94 which suspended and tolled any statute providing for an eviction cause of action under Florida law solely as it relates to nonpayment of rent by residential tenants due to the Covid19 emergency. Governor DeSantis extended Executive Order 20-94 five (5) times to extend the eviction moratorium up until now.
• Effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the issuance of an Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
At this point in time, although the Florida eviction moratorium is expired, the Federal eviction moratorium remains in full effect.
It is important to note the Standard Florida “AS IS” Residential Contract (“Contract’) identifies contractual obligations to both the seller and buyer as it pertains to an occupied property subject to a lease agreement. If the property is occupied, Provision 6(b) of the Contract as well as Provision 18(d) must be strictly adhered to.
A buyer like Stephen MUST inquire into the tenant’s rental status payment by carefully reviewing the lease and estoppel letter, in light of the eviction moratorium, to confirm the tenant is current on rental payments and able to satisfy its future lease obligations.
As always, you should contact your real estate attorney for guidance of contract review and lease review if a tenant occupies the property in a residential contract
Gabriella Perez, Esq. email@example.com
Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC
This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.
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