Federal Eviction Moratorium and Tenant Protection

Apartment buildings

So, as we discussed in our last article (which can be found here), the State of Florida has hit the “pause button” on evictions, but what about the Federal Government? Over the past few months, I’m sure you’ve heard about the CARES Act. And while it is the reason many of American’s are receiving $1,200 stimulus checks or debit cards, there are also a couple of protections for landlords and tenants. Today, we will talk about the Federal Eviction Moratorium and tenant protection.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. One of the biggest benefits from the CARES Act for tenants was the “Uncle Sam Pause Button.” In essence, the Uncle Sam Pause Button says that if the landlord has a mortgage against a piece of property and has tenants who are renting the piece of property, the landlord is probably not allowed to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent anytime soon. More specifically, if the landlord’s mortgage is a federally backed mortgage (like a VA or FHA loan and including loans held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), the landlord cannot evict a tenant for non-payment of rent for at least 120 days. The CARES Act continues to state that the Uncle Sam Pause Button could be extended for up to another 120 days (making a total of 240 days). Even more expansive, the CARES Act also covers residences that participate in federal assistance programs (like section 8 housing).

While the CARES Act suspends the right of a landlord to evict a tenant based on the failure to pay rent, the CARES Act does not relieve the tenant of the obligation to pay rent. Rather, the tenant’s failure to pay rent can be used as a basis for eviction after Uncle Sam hits play again. However, instead of Florida’s standard 3 day notice, the CARES Act requires landlords to provide tenants with 30 days’ notice prior to filing any lawsuit for eviction.

If you are a landlord or a tenant faced with the potential of an eviction lawsuit, contact the attorneys at your Legal Team For Life. We have spent countless hours reviewing Governor DeSantis’ Executive Orders, the Federal CARES Act, and have over 45 years’ experience serving our neighbors in the community.

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